PENANG’S Wesak celebration at the Malaysian Buddhist Association (MBA) in Burmah Road was a colourful affair which attracted a big crowd.
Visitors and devotees took part in an assortment of activities including the unveiling of the MBA parade float and bathing of Buddha’s statue.
At an exhibition held in the morning, various Buddhist temples and organisations in the state showcased their history and achievements.
Singing performances and cultural dances captivated the crowd while many made a beeline for the free health screening provided by the Buddhist Tzu-Chi Merit Society.
Society commissioner Khoo Boo Leong said 10 doctors and dieticians were present to provide their services.
He said they tested visitors’ blood, urine and blood pressure.
“About 500 people came for the screening,” he added.
The society also gave out 1,000 packets of instant vegetarian brown rice with corn.
“We want to encourage the public to have at least one simple meal a day.
“This is to encourage us to appreciate what we have and count our blessings,” said volunteer Teoh Bee Hong.
The open house yesterday was initiated by the state government and organised by MBA with the co-operation of various Buddhist temples and organisations in the state.
MBA volunteers prepared 3,000 packets of vegetarian food which were given out free to visitors.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng thanked the committee for organising the celebration which he said was the 6th Wesak Day open house under the present state government.
“This is the people’s celebration of peace, harmony and respect for everyone,” he said in his speech.
Also present were MBA vice-president Ven Chan Liang and organising chairman Ven Kai Zun.
On Wesak Day this Wednesday, a float procession will be held in Penang.
Fifteen floats will take part in the procession which will start from MBA at 6pm.
The parade will then pass through Pangkor Road, Kelawei Road, Burmah Lane, Peel Avenue, Macalister Road, Anson Road and Madras Lane before returning to the association premises at around 10pm.
Wesak commemorates the Thrice Blessed Day of Gautama Buddha’s birth, His supreme enlightenment and His attainment of mahaparinirvana.