Buddhists around the world have celebrated Vesak, one of the most important days in the Buddhist calendar. Informally known as Buddha's birthday, it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. Buddhist scriptures state that each of these significant events occurred on the full moon of the Indian lunar month of Vesakha. Buddhists celebrate Vesak every year on the day of the full moon in May.
In Indonesia, celebrations were focused on the ancient Borobudur temple. Thousands of Buddhist monks gathered to meditate and circuit the temple in a ritual called "Pradaksina". Borobudur, built between the 8th and 9th century, is the world's largest Buddhist temple and a Unesco World Heritage Site. The temple is situated on a remote hilltop in Central Java surrounded by lush jungle and ringed by volcanoes, one of which – Mount Kelud – is still active.
The birth of Buddha two-and-a-half millennia ago, in the year 623BC, was also celebrated in other countries with large Buddhist populations, such as Thailand, India and Nepal. IBTimes UK presents photos of celebrations of the important event – also known as Buddha Purnima and Buddha Jayanti.