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May 18, 2011

Vesak Day 2011

Commonly called "Budda's birthday," Vesak Day is a time for Buddhists worldwide to come together and celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. The commemorations range from meditations and quiet prayers to alms giving events to long colorful processions. In Indonesia, such events take place at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument, making it the most visited tourist attraction in the country. Vesak is observed every year during the full moon occurring in May or June. -- Lloyd Young(27 photos total)

Buddhists carry candles while encircling a large Buddha statue during Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, at a temple in Nakhon Pathom province on the outskirts of Bangkok May 17. This year marks 2600th anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment. The image was taken using a long exposure. (Chaiwat Subprasom/Reuters)

Buddhists monks attend a ceremony during Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, at Wat Dharmmakaya in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok May 17. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

Indonesian muslim woman with Buddhist followers release a lantern into the air at the Borobudur temple during Vesak Day, commonly known as 'Buddha's birthday', at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17 in Magelang, Indonesia. Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument anually, which makes it the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. It is observed during the full moon in May or June, with the ceremony centred at three Buddhist temples by walking from Mendut to Pawon and ending at Borobudur. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Buddhists believers meditate during a ceremony on Vesak Day, at Wat Dharmmakaya in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

Buddhist monks pray at Borobudur temple in Magelang, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

A giant Vesak Day display featuring a seated Buddha during the annual Buddhist festival in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Lakruwan Wanniatachchi/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhist followers in meditation at the Borobudur temple during Vesak Day, commonly known as 'Buddha's birthday', at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

A view of Borobudur temple is illuminated as buddhist monks walked around it during Vesak Day May 17. ( Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Buddhist monks join the procession from Mendut temple to Borobudur temple on Vesak Day, commonly known as 'Buddha's birthday', at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)#

Buddhist followers light candles at the Borobudur temple during Vesak Day. Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument anually, which makes it the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. It is observed during the full moon in May or June. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Buddhist followers release a lantern into the air at Borobudur temple during Vesak Day. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Buddhist devotees arrive at a temple to attend a religious ceremony on Vesak day in Colombo May 17. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters) #

Buddhists carry candles while encircling Wat Dharmmakaya during Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

Buddhist monks wash and sprinkle flowers on the statue of reclining Buddha at the Dhammadipa Arama temple in Malang town in Eastern Java province as they celebrate Vesak Day on May 17. (Aman Rochman/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Buddhist monk uses a radio as he gives instructions to others arriving for a prayer during Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, at Wat Dharmmakaya in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok May 17. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A resident gives a donation to Buddhists monks ahead of a Vesak Day procession in Magelang, central Java, May 16. Buddhists in Indonesia will celebrate Vesak Day on Tuesday to honor the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. (Dwi Oblo/Reuters) #

A Sri Lankan street vendor speaks with a customer as lanterns hang for sale on the eve of Vesak Festival in Colombo on May 16, 2011 as the predominantly Buddhist country awaits the celebration of Vesak on the full moon. Vesak is a thrice-blessed day for Buddhists as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha. On Vesak Day, lanterns made from bamboo frames and decoratedd in coloured paper are hung inside every home and illuminated displays decorate the streets. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images) #

Buddhist monks attend an alms offering ceremony in Bangkok's shopping district May 8. Buddhist monks, numbering 12,600, according to organisers, attended the ceremony on Vesak Day, the annual celebration of Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. The event was organised to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and to give moral support to the Buddhist monks and novices from the troubled southern provinces of Thailand. This year marks 2600th anniversary of the Buddha's enlightenment. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

Thousands of Buddhist monks walk among believers during an alms offering ceremony in Bangkok's shopping district May 8. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A Buddhist monk prays at Borobudur temple on Vesak Day, commonly known as 'Buddha's birthday', at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Taken with a long exposure Buddhists carry candles while encircling Wat Dharmmakaya during Vesak Day, in Pathum Thani province, on the outskirts of Bangkok May 17. (Damir Sagolj/Reuters) #

A full moon is seen at Borobudur temple during Vesak Day, commonly known as 'Buddha's birthday', at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Devotees scatter flower petals on a Buddha statue on the occasion of Buddha Purnima festival, also know as Vesak Day, in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad May 17. (Amit Dave/Reuters) #

A devotee offers prayers at a Buddhist temple on the occasion of Buddha Purnima festival, also know as Vesak Day, in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh May 17. (Ajay Verma/Reuters) #

Buddhist monks from Bangladesh parade on a street during a ceremony to mark the religious week coinciding with Vesak, or the Buddha Full Moon Day, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, May 15. (Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press) #

Buddhist monks give holy flowers to Budhist members as they join the procession from Mendut temple to Borobudur temple on Vesak Day. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) #

Buddhist devotees release flying lanterns during Vesak Day celebrations at the ancient Borobudur temple in Magelang town in Central Java province on May 17. The temple believed to be built in the 8th century becomes the center of prayer and devotion on Vesak Day, as Buddhists in the predominantly Muslim Indonesia commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha. (Clara Prima/AFP/Getty Images) #


 
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