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Buddha Purnima 2024, Date, History & Significance – Holiday

Published Date: 18-Dec-2022

Buddha Purnima, also known as Vesak, is the most important festival for the followers of Buddhism across the world. This auspicious day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, and is celebrated by Buddhist sects with much fervour. The festival falls on the first full moon day (Purnima) of the Hindu month of Vaisakha, which corresponds to April-May in the Gregorian calendar. Buddha Purnima will be observed on 23rd May (Thursday) in the year 2024.

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Buddha Purnima History and Significance

Buddha Purnima (Vesak) 2022 | History and significance

Buddha Purnima (Vesak) 2024| History and significance

Although the date and time of Lord Buddha’s birth and death are uncertain, the assumptions are that he lived between 6th and 4th century BC. He was born as Prince Siddhartha in Lumbini, Nepal. According to legends, he was prophesied to become a great king or a great sage, much before his birth. Grown up with princely luxury, Siddhartha remained shielded from the hardships of human life till he was in his late 20s. Upon encountering sickness, old age and death, the 29-year-old prince decided to leave his royal palace and set out on a quest to find an answer to the cause of all suffering.

Over the next few years, he investigated many different teachings but could not find liberation until one night he went into deep meditation and woke up with all the answers that he had been seeking. This is how at the age of 35, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha or the Awakened One. For the remaining of his life, he preached the Dharma to lead other people along the path of Enlightenment. Gautama Buddha breathed his last at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh.

It is said that all three important events in the life of Gautama Buddha – his birth, enlightenment and salvation – fall on the same day of the year. Owing to this happenstance, the day holds immense value in Buddhism. The decision to celebrate Buddha’s birth anniversary on the first full moon day of Vaisakha was taken by the World Fellowship of Buddhists in May, 1960.

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Buddha Purnima Celebrations across India

Buddha Purnima (Vesak) 2022 | Buddha Purnima celebration

Buddha Purnima (Vesak) 2024 | Buddha Purnima celebration

On the occasion of Buddha Purnima, many devotees visit Buddhist shrines and spend the day there reciting hymns and sermons about the life of Lord Buddha and his teachings and principles. Flowers and candles are offered to worship the Buddha’s idol, which is placed in a basin full of water.

Buddha’s teachings are followed with sincerity on this day and thus, devotees avoid non-vegetarian food, offer goods and kheer to the poor, and generally wear white clothes to maintain purity.

Best Places to Observe Buddha Purnima in India

  • Sarnath
  • Bodhgaya
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Ladakh
  • Sikkim

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year’s Day Mon 01-Jan Restricted Holiday
Lohri Sat 13-Jan Restricted Holiday
Makar Sankranti Sun 14-Jan Restricted Holiday
Pongal Mon 15-Jan Restricted Holiday
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Wed 17-Jan Restricted Holiday
Republic Day Fri 26-Jan Gazetted Holiday
Losar Sat 10-Feb Restricted Holiday
Basant Panchmi Wed 14-Feb Restricted Holiday
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Sat 24-Feb Gazetted Holiday
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wed 6-Mar Restricted Holiday
Mahashivratri Fri 8-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Holi Mon 25-March Gazetted Holiday
Good Friday Fri 29-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Easter Day Sun 31-Mar Restricted Holiday
Gudi Padwa Tue 9-Apr Restricted Holiday
Eid-ul-Fitr Wed 10-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Vaisakhi (Vishu) Sat 13-Apr Restricted Holiday
Rama Navami Wed 17-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Mahavir Jayanti Sun 21-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Rabindra Jayanti Wed 8-May Restricted Holiday
Buddha Purnima (Vesak) Thu 23-May Gazetted Holiday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) Mon 17-Jun Restricted Holiday
Rath Yatra Sun 7-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Muharram (Ashura) Wed 17-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Independence Day Thu 15-Aug Gazetted Holiday
Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraz) Thu 15-Aug Public Holiday
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Mon 19-Aug Restricted Holiday
Janmashtami Mon 26-Aug Restricted Holiday
Ganesh Chaturthi Sat 7-Sep Restricted Holiday
Onam Sun 15-Sep Restricted Holiday
Milad-un-Nabi or Id-e- Milad Mon 16-Sep Gazetted Holiday
Gandhi Jayanti Wed 02-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dussehra Sat 12-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Thu 17-Oct Restricted Holiday
Karva Chauth Sun 20-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dhanteras Tue 29-Oct Restricted Holiday
Kali Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Halloween Day Thu 31-Oct No Holiday
Diwali Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Kerala Piravi Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Govardhan Puja Sat 2-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Bhai Dooj Sun 3-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Chhath Puja Thu 7-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Guru Nanak Jayanti Fri 15-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Christmas Wed 25-Dec Public Holiday

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Year-Wise Buddha Purnima Observances




2015 Mon 4-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2016 Sat 21-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2017 Wed 10-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2018 Mon 30-Apr Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2019 Sat 18-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2020 Thu 7-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2021 Wed 26-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2022 Mon 16-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2023 Fri 5-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2024 Thur 23-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
2025 Mon 12-May Buddha Purnima/Vesak
Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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