Society

The Wesak Day

The Buddhist Celebration Day

April 27th, 2016
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The Wesak (or Vesak), is the day of the Buddhist celebration that occurs around the world. It represents one of the most important festivals in the Buddhist calendar since it pays homage to three main events of Gautama Buddha’s life: the birthday, the enlightenment and the passing away.

Devotees normally offer flowers and candles during the festival; the reason behind it is that, life, as flowers and candles, is short and goes away quickly. Additionally, local temples provide special services and welfare activities (giving vegetarian meals to poor people), whereas in some countries, Buddhists set free some captive birds in order to celebrate the liberation from captivity.

Moreover, another important part of the celebration is the “Bathing Buddha, where water is poured over the shoulders of the Buddha; the meaning is to remind Buddhists to free their mind from greed and to practice morality and kindness. At the end of the day there is a candle procession that includes the traditional lion and dragon dances, and it gathers people of different races and religions to watch the procession.

The Wesak Day is celebrated in different parts of the world (in Berlin 2014 and 2015), and it is a festival of colours and joy everywhere. Besides, this celebration takes place in most of the South East Asian countries like Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.

It is indeed considered a public holiday in these countries.

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References

Cultural Diplomacy News
Paola Pluchino, CD News