This morning we woke up early to visit the local Buddhist Temple in Shah Alam, Malaysia to witness the beginning of the Wesak Festival including traditional offerings to Buddha and the ceremonial “Bathing the Buddha.” After six drives around the temple area we found a parking space. Yes, this is a highly attended event around the world. Below is a brief description of the festival and Buddha’s teachings. You can find additional pics on my Fan Page Link .
Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May, which falls on the 5th of May this year. It celebrates the Buddha’s birthday, marks his enlightenment and death.
Buddha literally means ‘one who is awake’ and has become enlightened. It’s a term that denotes a person who has attained the supreme wisdom and compassion of Enlightenment.
To Buddhists, Enlightenment is a blessed state in which the individual attains Nirvana – the transcendence from greed, hatred, and delusion.
During the festival, Buddhists visit their local temple for services and teaching, and give offerings food (generally fruit), candles and flowers. This shows respect and gratitude to the Buddha for his life and teachings
The ‘Bathing the Buddha’ ceremony is also often included. Water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha and serves as a reminder to purify the mind from greed, hatred and ignorance.
Holy Water is offered to visitors to take home to rinse with during their shower / bath symbolizing cleansing and purity.
The colors below are often worn as a bracelet by Buddhists and made of individual colored strings. See the pic of a young man holding three bags of Holy Water and wearing the string bracelet.
Blue (Nila): Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
Yellow (Pita): The Middle Path – avoiding extremes, emptiness
Red (Lohita): The blessings of practice – achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
White (Odata): The purity of Dharma – leading to liberation, outside of time or space
Orange (Manjesta): The Buddha’s teachings – wisdom
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