Vesak Day in Singapore is one of the grandest festivals in the country and the world. Buddhists in Singapore and all over the world celebrate the auspicious day as one of the greatest days of Buddhism. It is believed to be a time of joy, peace, and reflection. Celebrated as one of the holiest days for Buddhists, Vesak day marks the birth, enlightenment (Nirvana), and death (Parinirvana) of the Buddha.

 

Vesak Day Singapore is celebrated on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar and this year, it falls on 7 May 2020.

Singapore’s Vesak Day Celebrations

On Vesak Day, Singapore is in a festive mood. Celebrations in Singapore begin early in the dawn and last till the late hours of the day.

Flags and flowers adore the temples on this special day. Devotees arrive early to the temples.  Ceremonial rituals like hoisting the Buddhist flag and bathing of the Lord Buddha are attended by all. The ceremonies at the temples comprise ancient monastic rituals. Monks chant the hymns of the holy Buddha, Dharma (his teachings), and Sangha (his disciples).

Lord Buddha preached to his disciples and the world that the only way to pay homage to Him is by following his teachings. As such, Buddha’s followers practice his sermons of peace, harmony and love to honor him and his life. Hence, Vesak Day is celebrated with good deeds, simple festivities, and harmonious rituals.

The day celebrations end with festivities. Processions line up the streets with devotees paying their gratitude to the holy day.

Buddhist Rituals on Vesak Day Singapore

On the day of Vesak, traditional Buddhist rituals make the day special. The hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the ‘bathing’ the Buddha are organized in the various Buddhist temples. The hosting of the Buddhist flag is a symbol of faith and peace and marks the day as the holy day for Buddhism.

Vesak is the day of Birth of Buddha, as such, on this day, the monks bathe the statue of infant Siddhartha. Thereafter, they worship it with flowers.  To perform the Bathing Buddha Ritual, the monks scoop water from the holy basin in the temples and poured over the statue. The ritual is in remembrance of the legend that the lord on his birth was showered with the waters of nine dragons. Born as Siddhartha Gautama before he became the Buddha, the lord was a royal prince pampered with pleasures before he gave it up all to attain salvation.

 

On this day, most of the Buddhist temples in Singapore are decked up for the occasion. But if you want to enjoy a festive experience, you must head to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum, Siong Lim Temple, or Thian Hock Keng Temple.

Offerings and Good Deeds

As per Lord Buddha’s teachings, good deeds truly honor the Lord. As such people spend the day doing good deeds. Devotees believe that performing worthy deeds on the day will increase the blessings.

Buddhists in Singapore and all over the world on the day make donations to charity, distribute gifts and food to poor and needy, release the captured animals, organize blood donation camps, take vegetarian food, etc. to honor the Lord. Devotees also spend their hours chanting mantras and reading the sermons of the Buddha.

Candlelight Processions on Vesak

As daylight ends, candlelight street processions mark the dusky evenings. Attend the most popular procession organized at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery location on Bright Hill Road.

 

The statues of Lord Buddha are illuminated while many of the Buddhist devotees practice a bowing ritual for repentance, blessings, and world peace. It is a two-hour-long ritual called ‘three-step, one-bow’ which includes stepping on stairs on knees and taking a bow at every third step.

 

Vesak Day in Singapore is a true celebration of Buddha and his teachings. Devotees celebrate Buddha’s great life and teachings and earn divine blessings with worthy deeds.

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