Buddhists across the world are celebrating Vesak, usually called 'Buddha's birthday', but actually marking the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha.

Gautama Buddha, also known as Siddhārtha Gautama, was born in the Himalayan foothills in present-day Nepal about 500 years before the birth of Christ.

A child drops coins into golden Buddha statues on Vesak Day at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Buddhists across the world celebrate Vesak to honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha 2,550 years ago
A child drops coins into golden Buddha statues on Vesak Day at the Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Buddhists across the world celebrate Vesak to honour the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha 2,550 years agoReuters
The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya in India is illuminated to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha
The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya in India is illuminated to celebrate the birthday of Lord BuddhaAFP
Buddhists place lotus-shaped candle holders in the shape of a swastika, an auspicious Buddhist symbol, at the Yufo Temple in Shanghai
Buddhists place lotus-shaped candle holders in the shape of a swastika, an auspicious Buddhist symbol, at the Yufo Temple in ShanghaiReuters
Monks take part in a ceremony to celebrate Buddha's birthday at the Yufo Temple in Shanghai
Monks take part in a ceremony to celebrate Buddha's birthday at the Yufo Temple in ShanghaiReuters
A man packs Buddha figurines at a workshop in Colombo
A man packs Buddha figurines at a workshop in ColomboReuters
Thousands of Taiwanese Buddhists take part in a gathering to celebrate Buddha's birthday in Taipei
Thousands of Taiwanese Buddhists take part in a gathering to celebrate Buddha's birthday in TaipeiAFP
Buddhists pray during a ceremony to commemorate the birth of Buddha, at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei
Buddhists pray during a ceremony to commemorate the birth of Buddha, at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in TaipeiReuters
Buddhist devotees pour water on a sacred tree as they take part in a ceremony at the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
Buddhist devotees pour water on a sacred tree as they take part in a ceremony at the Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon, MyanmarAFP
A novice Buddhist monk is dressed for a Vesak Day ceremony at a pagoda in Takeo province, Cambodia
A novice Buddhist monk is dressed for a Vesak Day ceremony at a pagoda in Takeo province, CambodiaReuters
Buddhist monks perform the
Buddhist monks perform the "three steps one bow" ceremony at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in SingaporeReuters
A devotee prays at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore
A devotee prays at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in SingaporeReuters
Buddhist devotees unfurl a sacred painting at a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ipoh, Malaysia
Buddhist devotees unfurl a sacred painting at a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ipoh, MalaysiaAFP
Worshippers pray under lanterns during a ceremony marking Buddha's birthday at the Jogyesa temple in Seoul, South Korea
Worshippers pray under lanterns during a ceremony marking Buddha's birthday at the Jogyesa temple in Seoul, South KoreaAFP
An anti-government protester with her nails painted in Thai national colours, a symbol of the protesters, prays with Buddhist monks during an alms offering ceremony in Bangkok
An anti-government protester with her nails painted in Thai national colours, a symbol of the protesters, prays with Buddhist monks during an alms offering ceremony in BangkokReuters
Thai army soldiers help to carry offerings given to Buddhist monks on the occasion of the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha
Thai army soldiers help to carry offerings given to Buddhist monks on the occasion of the birth, enlightenment and death of BuddhaAFP