Siddhartha Gautama whom we now know as the Buddha, or the 'Awakened One'.
What I have always understood about Buddhism is that it seems based in compassion. That's clearly not all there is to it, but that's the part I try to be mindful of, as a guide on my own crooked path.
Followers in Japan celebrate his birth today, while those in other countries observe it on other dates, depending for the most part on which calendar they follow.
With the bluebells in bloom, this looks like a very good day to celebrate -- and really, I think this Buddha looks pretty darn happy. His messages were ones that, if people actually followed them, everyone on the planet would likely be happy too.
For starters, a small (paraphrased) birthday gift from the Buddha for today: "a generous heart and kind speech will go a long way towards making the world a better place."