To the Buddhists, Wesak is the most sacred festival as it commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Death of the Great Teacher, Buddha.
To the Buddhists, Wesak is the most sacred festival as it commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and Death of the Great Teacher, Buddha. Wesak usually falls in the month of April or May and is observed as a public holiday in Malaysia.
Wesak Day celebrations begin before dawn and devotees throng the temples early in the morning to meditate on the Eight Precepts. This is observed by both the young and the old. ‘Sutras’ are chanted by monks in saffron coloured robes.
Buddhist devotees visit various organisations, like orphanages, welfare homes, homes for the aged and charitable institutions to distribute cash donations and gifts to the needy. Free meals are also provided for the underprivileged. Merit is also gained by the release of caged birds.
Many temples serve vegetarian food and hold candle light processions on this auspicious day. Special lectures on the teachings of Buddha are provided to keen devotees.
Reproduced with permission from:
Glimpses of Malaysia Series, GeoVision Productions (1993- 2003)