Buddhists around the world are celebrating 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.
The birth of Buddha two-and-a-half millennia ago in 623BC, is celebrated in 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.