A Zen Buddhist Community in Shelburne, Vermont

The Buddha's Birthday Celebration

28 may 2023

Vesak, the celebration honoring the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha, will be on Sunday, May 28, beginning at 10 a.m. (There’s no morning sitting prior to the ceremony.)

According to tradition, the Buddha was born on April 8. However, for purely practical reasons we celebrate this event when the weather is warmer and we can be outdoors. This year we are hoping to resume having a traditional celebration, with people in attendance as well as on Zoom.

If you would like to be physically present, please complete the registration at the bottom of this page by May 26. Only those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted may attend. Sadly, this likely means no young children can come.

Schedule of Events

This is how the ceremony will unfold:

  • The ceremony begins at 10:00. Everyone should be at the Zen Center or logged onto Zoom by that time. We will begin chanting the Kanzeon and the ceremony will start in the Buddha Hall.
  • Those present will enter, pour tea over the Baby Buddha and present their flower offering as well as their baby gift.
  • And then comes the puppet show telling of the story of the Buddha’s birth.
  • After the story, we will bring out Buddha’s Birthday cake (or maybe cupcakes) and everyone will sing Happy Birthday and virtually blow out the candles. By the way, the recipe for the Zen Center’s birthday cake is available here in case you want to make one.

In normal years, we give children a special Vesak gift. Although young children can't attend, we do have a gift for them!

Of all the Buddhist holidays, this is the most fun. After all, it’s a birthday party! We hope to see you there!