The three most significant events in the life of Gautama Buddha occurred on the same day. His birth, enlightenment and death (nirvana), all happened on a full moon night in April/May. This makes the day - called Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti - all the more sacred for Buddhists.
The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama in 544 BC, to King Shuddhodhana and Queen Mayadevi, rulers of Lumbini, Nepal. According to legend, Siddhartha's wife Yashodhara, his charioteer Channa, his disciple Ananda and his horse Kantaka were also born on Buddha Purnima day. The Buddha or the Enlightened One was also known as Shakyamuni because he belonged to the Shakya clan, while his family name was Gautama.