What is Vesak Day?
It’s Buddha’s birthday! Popularly known as the Vesak Day or Waisak Day which means a full moon day, this one is considered to be the most auspicious occasion by Buddhists. Buddhists in Singapore and the world over celebrate the time of joy, peace and reflection. It was on this very day that Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and passed away when he was 80 years old.
This year Vesak Day falls on the 29th of May, which is an international holiday recognized by the United Nations Organisation.
How is it celebrated?
Offerings of flowers, candles and joss sticks are also brought to the temples. The fact that the candles and joss sticks burn down and the flowers wither is meant to remind all worshippers that life is fleeting and transient, that all things decay and eventually pass away.
The rest of the day is spent on worthy causes, as devotees believe that performing good deeds on Vesak Day will multiply merit many times over.
Only vegetarian meals are eaten even as Buddhists organise mass blood donations at hospitals, visit homes for the aged or distribute gifts of cash to the needy. Others release caged birds and animals, a symbol of liberation for Buddhists, or spend hours chanting mantras.
One of the most popular rituals you will notice on Vesak Day is that of ‘bathing’ the Buddha. Worshippers crowd around basins or pools decorated with garlands of flowers and dominated by a small central elevated statue of the child Siddhartha. Ladlefuls of water are scooped from the basin and poured over the statue, in remembrance of the legend that the infant prince was showered with the waters of nine dragons soon after he was born.
Most of the South Asian and Southeast Asian countries choose to celebrate the massive festival with utmost glee and bonhomie. Because of the cultural differences, there could be different ways of Vesak day celebration, however, the enthusiasm and joy in people are unprecedented.
The teachings of Buddha define various aspects of human life deeply and profoundly. The most prominent use of Buddha symbols these days is in the form of Buddha jewellery which includes Buddha bracelets, earrings, and most popularly, pendants.
Some people also believe that wearing items bearing the image of Buddha can serve as a reminder to be like Buddha in daily life, and encourage more patience, kindness and cultivate peace.
For more Buddha Jewellery, please visit our retail stores.