BCA Takes Part in Historic First Celebration of Vesak at White House

The Buddhist Churches of America participated in the first-ever celebration May 26 of Vesak — the Buddha’s birth, enlightening and passing — at the White House.

In honor of the occasion, President Biden issued the following official statement from the White House:

“Jill and I extend our warmest wishes to Buddhists in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Vesak, the day honoring the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha. The ceremonial lighting of a lamp, the symbol of this holiday that has been celebrated for over 2,500 years, reminds us of Buddhism’s teachings of compassion, humility, and selflessness that endure today. On this day, we also commemorate the many contributions of Buddhists in America who enrich our communities and our country as we all work together toward brighter days ahead.”

The White House celebrated Vesak with the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, lighting a candle in the White House in the presence of three Venerables representing Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana traditions. This occasion also marked the first time all of them came together under #peaceloveunity.