A Zen Buddhist Community in Shelburne, Vermont

The Buddha's Birthday Celebration

26 may 2024

Vesak, the celebration honoring the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha, will be on Sunday, May 26, 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 will have a traditional, i.e. pre-pandemic style, celebration, with people in attendance as well as on Zoom.


All, including and especially children, are welcome to attend in person. Please register below on the pop-up form that will appear when you click the button. However, please attend virtually if you have had recent exposure to Covid or are feeling unwell.

Those who cannot attend in person are welcome to participate via Zoom. You must register to receive the ceremony link.

Order of Events

  • 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.
  • We pour tea over the Baby Buddha and present a flower offering as well as a baby gift.
  • There is a puppet show telling the story of the Buddha’s birth.
  • After the story, we go outdoors (weather permitting) for the elephant parade.
  • Coming back indoors, the sleeping sage will tell us a story or two (if we can wake him up)
  • The Buddha's Birthday ends with a pot luck lunch and a small gift for all children present.

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