Wisakha Bucha Day marks the three important incidents in the life of Lord Buddha (พระพุทธเจ้า) on the same day – the full moon of the sixth lunar month. The three significant separate events are :
1. The Buddha’s Birth (ประสูติ)
2. The Enlightenment of Buddha (ตรัสรู้) - While sitting under the Bodhi tree, he found his answer and attained the enlightenment at the age of 35 years.
3. The Nibbana (ปรินิพพาน)- The Buddha passed away on Tuesday, the Vesak full moon day in the zodiac year of the small snake under the two Sal trees in the Sala Grove of the Mallas in Kusinara, the capital of the Malla state, (nowadays located in Kusinagara of Uttrarapradesa, India) at the age of eighty years (around 2547 years ago).Wisaka Bucha Day falls every year in the month of May. This year it is Tuesday, May 17.
Wisaka Bucha Day is regognized as most important memorial day in Buddhism for the Lord Buddha. Wisaka Bucha day is also recognized by the UNESCO in 1999 as “World Heritage Day”. Thailand where is the permanent location of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, was chosen to host celebrating event for the day.
Custom of Wisakha Bucha Day
At the first light of dawn, Thais visit the temples to listen to sermons by revered monks (ฟังธรรม) and make merit (ทำบุญ). Shortly after sunset, candle-lit processions take place at major temples throughout the country. The devout Buddhists walk three times around the principle chapel clockwise (เดินเวียนเทียน), each clasping three incense sticks, a lighted candle and lotus buds. The air is filled with burning incense and smoke from the candles as the faithful complete this most sacred of Buddhist celebrations.Source: Public Relations Department of Royal Thai Government