Buddha’s Birthday or Seokgatansinil (석가탄신일) is a Buddhist feast day to commemorate the birthday of Buddha Gautama. In South Korea in which Buddhism is one of the country’s major religions, Seokgatansinil is a very important festival as well as public holiday.
Date of Seokgatansinil
In South Korea, Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in Chinese lunar calendar. Due to different date calculations between Chinese lunar Calendar and Gregorian (Western) calendar, the date of Buddha’s Birthday celebration varies from year to year in Gregorian calendar.
Yet, the other countries may celebrate Buddha’s Birthday (Vesak) on different dates. As an illustration, some countries including Vietnam and Thailand observe Buddha’s Birthday on the full moon of the 4th month in Chinese lunar calendar (15th day of the 4th moon in lunar calendar) while Sri Lanka celebrate the festival on the first full moon in May every year.
When is Seokgatansinil 2014?
Seokgatansinil or Buddha’s Birthday in South Korea 2014 falls on Tuesday, 6 May 2014.
When is Seokgatansinil 2015?
Seokgatansinil or Buddha’s Birthday in South Korea 2015 falls on Monday, 25 May 2015.
2014 Seokgatansinil Celebration
Buddha’s Birthday or Seokgatansinil is a very important feast day and also a public holiday in South Korea. Thus, most schools, businesses, banks, and government offices are closed while students and employees are granted a day off.
To celebrate Buddha’s Birthday, many temples, streets, and communities in South Korea are decorated with colorful lotus lantern for a whole month. On the date of Buddha’s Birthday, people in South Korea usually visit some temples in which free meals and tea are given to the visitors.