Vesak is one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar. Buddhists across the globe celebrate Vesak every year on the day of the full moon in May. Vesak Day, also known as Buddha's birthday, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhist scriptures state that each of these significant events occurred on the full moon of the Indian lunar month of Vesakha.
This year, the festival will be celebrated on 10 May. In Sri Lanka, colourful lanterns are lit to signify the life of the Buddha, while in Taiwan fragrant water is poured over statues of Buddha. Singapore celebrates Vesak day by setting caged birds free.
Every year, thousands of Buddhist monks gather to meditate and circuit the Buddhist temple in a ritual called "Pradaksina". In Indonesia, celebrations were focused on the ancient Borobudur temple. Borobudur, built between the 8th and 9th century, is the world's largest Buddhist temple and a Unesco World Heritage Site. The temple is situated on a remote hilltop in Central Java surrounded by lush jungle and ringed by volcanoes, one of which – Mount Kelud – is still active. In this gallery, IBTimes Singapore has compiled a series of images of the Vesay Day celebrations around the world.