Light Up Peace: Vesak Day Celebration at Washington DC

On 23 May 2024, from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation and the International Buddhist Association of America are jointly co-organizing the Light Up Peace Ceremony in commemoration of Vesak Day at the National Monument in Washington DC.

An event for people of all religious traditions (and none), the Light Up Peace Ceremony is inviting Buddhist practitioners from across the intrafaith Buddhist community to gather at the iconic Washington Monument, where the assembled participants will walk three times in prayer dedicated to all sentient beings.

As the Light Up Peace Ceremony states, “As a symbol of respect, and gratitude in the founding of this nation, the Washington Monument provides a fitting backdrop for this sacred occasion.” 

At the core of this important event for American Buddhists are three guiding principles. 

Celebrating Diversity: “In the rich tapestry of our nation’s diverse community, Vesak Day holds significance for the more than three million Buddhist practitioners across the United States. It is a day of reverence, marking the birth of Buddha, enlightenment, and passing away. We mark this auspicious occasion to celebrate his teachings of compassion and devotion to humanity.”

Fostering Unity and Mutual Understanding: “By hosting this event at the Washington Monument, we extend an invitation to people of all faiths and spiritual backgrounds to join us in appreciating cultural diversity and
nurturing mutual respect and understanding. The theme of light serves as a poignant metaphor, reminding us that the illumination of our inner beings begins with a single spark.”

Embracing Unity, Peace, and Hope: “Through this ceremony, we emphasize the universal values of unity, peace, and hope. It is a testament to the inherent humanity, compassion, and kindness within each of us, guiding us towards spiritual enlightenment and collective harmony.”

The IBAA extends a warm invitation to all individuals, regardless of faith or creed, to join us in this celebration of light, peace, and unity. Together, let us ignite the flame of compassion and illuminate the path towards a brighter, more harmonious world.

For more information, please contact Wangmo Dixey, the president of the International Buddhist Association of America (IBAA).

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 510-847-2966

The White House Vesak Celebration 2023

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