I am trying to plan ahead for 2010 and mark my Buddhist holidays on my calendar, but I must admit, I am completely confused and frustrated.
It isn't bad enough that different holidays are honored in the different schools of Buddhism, but on top of that, dates seem to differ depending on which web site I look at.
For example, I have looked at the 2010 Buddhist holidays calendars on three different web sites. One says Vesak is on May 17, one on May 26 and one on May 27. Which one is right? How do I know which one is right? How do I know which one to trust? So I could potentially be marking down all these holidays and then not even celebrate them on the right day, right?
I wish there was one single authoritative source for the dates.
I guess it does not help that most if not all Buddhist holidays have dates that vary from year to year because, rather than being based on a strict date (like Christmas is always 12/25), or even based on something like "the third Wednesday of every March") -- both of which are easy to mark on the calendar -- they are based on #1) the phases of the moon, right? And then it gets even more complicated when you factor in #2) the school of Buddhism and #3) the country. So, in Theravada, the Buddha's enlightenment is celebrated on Vesak, typically in May, whereas in Mahayana, it is celebrated in February (?). Or something may be celebrated in one month in Thailand, in another month in Cambodia, and in yet another month in Laos. Well, if I say I am a Theravadin, which country's celebration calendar do I follow, because all three of these countries practice Theravada. Theravada is not exactly the predominant religion in the United States, so I cannot exact consult a U.S. Theravada calendar for 2010. I kinda have to go off of the calendar for another country. So which one?
This is one of those cases where I am ready to throw in the towel...