White House celebrates Vesak for the first time

For the first time ever, the White House celebrated Vesak, the holiday that commemorates the Buddha’s birthday, death, and enlightenment.
 
Wangmo Dixey, Executive Director of Dharma College and President of the International Buddhist Association of America, coordinated the event with the offices of hekar Narasimhan, President of the Dharma Into Action Foundation.

The celebration included candle lighting with the Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, and prayers by leaders from the three major Buddist traditions. The White House also released an official statement by President Biden:
 
"Jill and I extend our warmest wishes to Buddhists in the United States and around the world as they celebrate Vesak, a 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".

 
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