A South Korean girl wearing a traditional dress carries a lotus lantern during a ceremony to celebrate the birthday of Buddha at Jogye temple in Seoul on May 17, 2013. Buddhism is one of South Korea's largest and most active religions with millions of followers. Although the exact date is unknown, Buddha's official birthday is celebrated on April 8th of the lunar calendar in South Korea. AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE
Credit: JUNG YEON-JE
Children are dressed in robes by monks during the 'Children Becoming Buddhist Monks' ceremony forthcoming buddha's birthday at a Chogye temple on May 11, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. Children have their hair shaved off during the 'Children Becoming Buddhist Monks' ceremony ahead of buddha's birthday at a Chogye temple. The children will stay at the temple to learn about Buddhism for 14 days. Buddha was born approximately 2,559 years ago, and although the exact date is unknown, Buddha's official birthday is celebrated on the full moon in May in South Korea, which is on May 25 this year.
Credit: Chung Sung-Jun
Koukokuji temple head priest Yajima Taijun walks through the Ruriden columbarium as glass Buddha alters are lit up on April 6, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. The Ruriden, operated by the Koukokuji buddhist temple, took two years to build and houses 2046 futuristic alters with glass buddha statues that correspond to drawers storing the ashes of the deceased. An IC card allows the owner of the alter to access the building and lights up the corresponding statue. The ashes are stored for 33 years before being buried below the Ruriden, currently 600 alters are in use and another 300 are reserved.
Credit: Chris McGrath
Tibetan Buddhist Monks of the Gelug, or Yellow Hat order, unveil a large thangka showing Buddha during Monlam or the Great Prayer rituals on March 3, 2015 at the Labrang Monastery, Xiahe County, Amdo, Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Gansu Province, China. Labrang Monastery is one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the largest outside of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Monlam, the most important prayer event for many Tibetans was banned during the Cultural Revolution in China but once again in recent years it is celebrated in many areas.