Wesak Day aka Vesak Festival celebrates three major events in the life of Lord Buddha: his birth, Enlightenment and passing away (achievement of Nirvana). Lord Buddha was born as Prince Siddharta Gautama on a full moon day in the month of Wesak (in Indian which is month of May in present day calendar) in 623 BC. Siddharta began his search for enlightenment at age 29 and after six years realized the eternal truth, thus becoming the Buddha - which means the Awakened One. This auspicious event took place at dawn in the month of Wesak in 588 BC, which was also a full moon day. Lord Buddha taught the truth for 45 years until his final passing away into Nirvana on a full moon day in 543 BC. Thus, all the three major events in Lord Buddha's life happened on a full moon day in the month of Wesak. As such Buddhists of both the Theravada and Mahayana tradition throughout the world celebrate this thrice-blessed day.
Lord Buddha's Enlightenment is the central event in Buddhism, and Enlightenment is an ideal to which all Buddhists aspire. Wesak Day is therefore the most important festival of the year. This year, Wesak Day falls on 12th May which is tomorrow.
Wesak is celebrated beginning at dawn on the night of the full moon with a candle procession and devotees will gather at temples to meditate on the Eight Precepts, and there is recitation of Lord Buddha's and his disciples' works. Usually at the temple ground, you can see devotees setting doves free, donating meals to the needy, offering incense and joss sticks, and chanting of the sutras in unison by monks in saffron robes where Wesak provides an opportunity for prayer and reflection on Enlightenment.
Every year Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur celebrates Wesak in a grand manner with a float procession with 20 floats and you can see throngs of devotees carrying candles following these floats. The theme for this year’s celebration is "Respect Human Rights, Promote Mutual Understanding". The floats will leave Buddhist Maha Vihara at 7.30pm tomorrow, and traverse the route to Bank Negara and Jalan Raja Laut, then turn at the Sime Darby building to head for Dataran Merdeka and Jalan Travers before returning to Brickfields.
We won’t be joining in as we will be away in Cameron Highlands. We’re going to the Sam Poh Buddhist Temple this time, a very special one to our heart. There will not be any postings for the weekend unless I get wifi connection up there.
Wishing all of you peace and happiness on Wesak Day and always…
Metta to all!
A 5 MINUTE INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF VESAK - BUDDHA DAY
CELEBRATION OF WESAK
Whoopsss by the way, today is Teacher's Day. If you're a teacher, Happy Teacher's Day to you.