An eye- catching float from a Myanmar group passing the city’s Chinatown.
THOUSANDS flocked to the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to participate in the annual Wesak Day procession to mark the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha.
The procession began at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields led by chief high priest of Malaysia Venerable Datuk K Sri Dhammaratana and Venerable Meng Ji who accompanied devotees holding candles and flowers.
Devotees walked along Jalan Berhala to Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad before turning into the busy Jalan Tun Sambanthan, passing Little India in Brickfields.
The walk continued to Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, towards Central Market and Chinatown before turning into Jalan Yap Ah Loy, Jalan Hang Lekiu and Jalan Gereja, then turning back into Jalan Raja Chulan to return to the temple.
This year, the 9km route bypassed prominent tourist spots and hotels along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang due to ongoing MRT construction works.
Devotees waited along the route to catch a glimpse of the floats and to pay their respects to Buddha.
“The route is shorter this year and the roads are a little quieter, we hope to walk along Bukit Bintang again when the constructions are completed,” said devotee Karrie Tan.
“There are more tourists there and we can show them what Wesak day is all about in Malaysia,” she added.
Another devotee said that she enjoyed the walk and the atmosphere. “It is a special day for Buddhists and we look forward to it each time,” said Ann Gan, 60.
Besides local Buddhist groups, the procession also saw the participation of devotees from Tibet, Myanmmar and Nepal.
About 15 floats decorated in colourful designs and lights were accompanied by monks who chanted prayers and blessed the devotees with holy water.
Staff members from several shops and hotels along the route were also seen distributing mineral water and food to devotees.
Similar processions were held at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul, Chempaka Buddhist Lodge in Petaling Jaya and the Ti-Ratana Welfare Society in Desa Sri Petaling.