Light Up Peace event invites people of all faiths to gather at Washington Monument for Vesak

The Light Up Peace ceremony invites people of all faiths to gather at the Washington Monument to commemorate Vesak Day and honor Buddhists in America with a candle walk for peace.

Lilly Greenblatt
15 May 2024
The washington monument reflects on water in front of a blue and pink sky
Photo by Hester Qiang.

Buddhist practitioners and people of all faiths and spiritual backgrounds are invited to attend a “Light Up Peace” Vesak day celebration at the Washington Monument on May 23, 2024.

Vesak is a Buddhist holiday that marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. The event, organized by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, the International Buddhist Association of America (IBAA), and Dharma College will include a candle walk for peace in which attendees will walk in prayer as a dedication to all sentient beings.

“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,” a press release for the event reads. “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.”

The event’s theme of light “serves as a poignant metaphor, reminding us that the illumination of our inner beings begins with a single spark.”

Light Up Peace will run from 5 to 6 p.m at the Washington Monument on Thursday, May 23. All are welcome to attend.

Poster for the light up peace event
Lilly Greenblatt

Lilly Greenblatt

Lilly Greenblatt is the digital editor of You can find more about her at