The most important festival in the Buddhist calendar, Vesak is celebrated annually on the full moon of the ancient lunar month of Vesakha, which usually falls in May, or in early June – but this year it lands on May 11th. On this day, the Buddhists around the world commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, his Enlightenment at the age of 35 when he became the Buddha, and his final ‘passing’ into Nirvana at the age of 80.
In Bali, the Buddhists will flock to the Vihara worshipping sites with an offering of fruit, flowers, candles, and incense. One very well known Vihara in Bali can be found at Benoa Port, Vihara Satya Dharma. Like other Viharas in Bali, a Balinese Hindu altar stands nearby, in its outdoor yard. It is a sacred place for the Buddhists, somewhere to practice and develop perfect mindfulness. They believe, in order to reach total enlightenment, they must liberate themselves and others from suffering. On Vesak Day, the Viharas and Buddhist temples are sure to be alive with Buddhists celebrating around the island.