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Visakha date

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  • Visakha date

    Hello Venerable ones, I was wondering what date you have this year for Visakha/Vesak. I thought that normally it is on the full moon day of May but according to Accesstoinsight it is June 4th. I know that in the Tibetan tradition it is called Saga Dawa and is also on full moon day of May. Can you please confirm the date? Thank you in advance.

    with metta, Bryan

  • #2
    Dear Bryan,

    The date depends on which calender you are following. This year it is particularly confusing since Vesak is celebrated on different days in different Theravada countries. In Sri Lanka and Burma it is celebrated on the 5th of May, whereas in Thailand it is on the 4th of June.

    I hope this helps!

    With metta.


    • #3
      Dear Bhante

      It strikes me as strange that over time, the ancient Buddhists themselves abandoned the old calendrical system that gave rise to the old monthly system. Visakha month 2500 years ago would be the month in which the full moon transited through the Visakha constellation. But, after 2500 years of precession of the equinoxes, the relative position of the full moon against the night sky would have shifted some 35 degrees away from its relative position 2500 years ago. Do you think the monastic order decided to time the calendar to keep pace with the seasons instead, given the importance of the rains?


      • #4
        Dear Sylvester,

        I have no idea. Perhaps there is some information about this hidden away in a sub-commentary somewhere. This might be a question for a more scholarly type of monk.

        With metta.


        • #5
          Thanks, Bhante!




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