Buddhist Holiday in Kuala Lumpur.
Today is a very special day. For some it is a public holiday, a day to relax, wind down and not have to be at work. For others it will be a day of prayer and respect for the revered Buddha. Today is Vesākha Day as pronounced in what is considered by most as the pure language (Sanskrit). Today is the day that Buddhist in Malaysia celebrate the birth, enlightenment ( Nirvana) and the passing away or Parinirvana of Gautama Buddha.
Thou this following has been around for centuries, (Buddhist will not officially call it religion) it was only in 1950 at the World Fellow Ship for Buddhist in Sri Lanka that this resolution was added. The exact text is written below and was passed to governments to consider.
” That this Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, while recording its appreciation of the gracious act of His Majesty, the Maharaja of Nepal in making the full-moon day of Vesak a Public Holiday in Nepal, earnestly requests the Heads of Governments of all countries in which large or small number of Buddhists are to be found, to take steps to make the full-moon day in the month of May a Public Holiday in honour of the Buddha, who is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest benefactors of Humanity.”
In this way an oddity happened in 2007 when the following countries Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Cambodia had two full moons on the 1st and 31st. These countries celebrated on the 1st however other countries including Thailand celebrated on the 31st of the month.
Devout Buddhists undertake to lead a noble life according to the teaching by making daily affirmations to observe the Five Preceps. However, on special days, notably new moon and full moon days, they observe the eight Precepts to train themselves to practice morality, simplicity and humility.
Some temples also display a small image of the baby Buddha in front of the altar in a small basin filled with water and decorated with flowers, allowing devotees to pour water over the statue; it is symbolic of the cleansing of a practitioners bad karma, and to reenact the events following the Buddha’s birth, when devas and spirits made heavenly offerings to him.
Devotees who come in hundreds and thousands are expected to listen to talks given by monks. On this day monks will recite verses uttered by the Buddha twenty-five centuries ago, to invoke peace and happiness for the Government and the people. Buddhists are reminded to live in harmony with people of other faiths and to respect the beliefs of other people as the Buddha had taught.
A very special day to for all to celebrate with friends and family.