Malaysia Vesak Day Holiday

Vesak Day in Malaysia is celebrated as a national public holiday. Deriving its name from the Vesak month of the Indian calendar, Buddhists from all over the world celebrate this day with joy.

DateDayPublic HolidayArea
07 MayThursdayVesak Day 2020National
26 MayWednesdayVesak Day 2021National
15 MaySundayVesak Day 2022National
TBCTBCVesak Day 2023National
TBCTBCVesak Day 2024National
TBCTBCVesak Day 2025National

Malaysia Public Holidays
Chinese New Year in MalaysiaMalaysia Thaipusam


What is Vesak Day in Malaysia All About?

Vesak day, sometimes spelt as Wesak Day, is a day where Malaysian Buddhists celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. These three moments were the most significant times in Gautama Buddha’s life. Because of this, it is considered among the most important festivals for the Buddhists.

Celebrated in the month of May, Vesak day falls on Sunday that’s the closest to the full moon. Occasionally, this day is also Buddha Day, Buddha’s Birthday, or even Buddha Purnima. On this day, Buddhists attend the Vesak Day services which are held at the local temples to offer their donations and prayers.


How Do They Celebrate It?

Vesak Day celebrations in Malaysia begin at the crack of dawn when devout Buddhists make their way to the temples and meditate on Buddhism’s precepts. A Buddhist who honours these teachings respect life, speak wisely, embrace celibacy and display generosity to those around them. The precepts also encourage Buddhists to only eat at designated times and refrain from the consumption of alcohol. Buddhists who follow these precepts staunchly are also forbidden from sleeping too much, listening to music or adorning their bodies.

Besides praying and making donations, the attendees of the Vesak Day celebrations offer candles and flowers too. These offerings are meant to serve as a reminder that nothing is permanent. Candles that burn away and flowers that wither are symbolic of that.

On Vesak Day, some Buddhists head over to the Malaysia Buddhist Association building. There, they patiently wait in line for their turn to wash the statue of Buddha. It is a ritual they believe will purify and cleanse their souls.


What to Do During Vesak Day in Malaysia?

If you happen to be in Malaysia during this time, you might be interested in the Vesak Day parade. It takes place in Kuala Lumpur and lasts for hours, filled with lots of beautifully decorated floats. These floats usually have a large Buddha statue on top of them.

Many locals spend the public holiday together with family and friends. All schools and some offices in the country are also on holiday off.

Although celebrated different in countries around the world, there is one similarity among all Vesak Day celebrations that you’ll find. Vesak Day celebrations are always a day of joy and filled with colour.

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