Definition of Vesak in English:


(also Wesak, Visākha)


mass noun
  • 1The most important Buddhist festival, taking place at the full moon when the sun is in the zodiacal sign of Taurus, and commemorating the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha.

    • ‘One of the most important festivals of all is Vesak at the full moon in May when the birth, enlightenment and decease of the Buddha are remembered.’
    • ‘I remember during Vesak and other Buddhist festivals the inmates organised meals and other things for passers-by.’
    • ‘The lord of Buddha's birthday falls on Wesak which is the full moon in May and is considered the most important full moon of the year, honoring the great blessing of earth and the fullness of the spring.’
    • ‘Chanting and praying are an important part of Wesak.’
    • ‘The TPF called off its campaign on the Buddhist festival of Vesak, but warned protests would resume.’
    1. 1.1 The month in which the festival of Vesak occurs.
      • ‘The Buddhist Calendar begins with the month of Vesak.’
      • ‘Thus began the great trance from which he was to emerge on the full moon day of the month of Vesak as a Fully Enlightened One, a Buddha.’


Sinhalese vesak, via Pali from Sanskrit vaiśākha, denoting the month April–May.