Some Buddhists are preparing to celebrate the Buddha's birthday next week. The traditions and exact dates of the celebrations vary. However the birth is mostly celebrated at the same time in various east Asian nations with the exception of Japan.
The celebration for most takes place on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar year. It's Buddha's 2555th birthday, which falls this year on May 10. In Japan, it is always celebrated on April 8, and is based on the Gregorian calendar.
Below are some celebration preparations from South Korea.
Some show workers attaching prayer petitions with names written on cards to lanterns. The cards are bought to bless families.
In another photograph, a novice monk's head is shaved. Novice monks enter the Jogye temple in Seoul about three weeks every year before the Buddha's birthday, according to Reuters.
In another image, Buddhists holding lanterns walk around a large lantern shaped as a traditional pagoda during a lighting ceremony as others pray.