Special prayers this evening for Wesak

KUALA LUMPUR: Special prayers will be held at the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple in Brickfields from this evening to mark Wesak Day.

Buddhist chief high priest of Malaysia, Venerable Datuk K. Sri Dhammaratana, said the main celebration tomorrow would also consist of a blood donation campaign, food and drinks distribution, flag-raising ceremony, talks and meditation.

He said the Transport Minister would launch the float procession at 6pm tomorrow.

Sri Dhammaratana said he was expecting a bigger crowd this year because Wesak Day was taking place mid-week.

“Many people will not return to their hometowns as that is usually during the weekend,” he added.

Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple honorary secretary Tilak Leslie Jayawardena said about 20,000 devotees were expected to visit the temple today and tomorrow.

“People are here for blessings, to experience the Wesak Day atmosphere and follow the activities, besides offering prayers,” he said.

He also said saplings would be given out to the crowd in conjunction with Wesak Day.

“We want people to take home and plant the saplings in their gardens, so they will remember the event,” he added.

According to Tilak, preparations started about a month ago and intensified over the last two days, involving 350 volunteers.

“They take turns in two- or three-hour shifts,” he said, adding that there would be more than 7,000 oil lamps lit over the next two days.

Pahang Buddhist Association (PBA) secretary Dr Wong Sien Biang said preparations begun nearly a month ago at its temple in Kuantan.

He said volunteers decorated the main shrine hall of its temple with a variety of flowers.

Wong said the PBA Temple also prepared a pond for devotees to participate in the traditional ritual of bathing the little Buddha statue.

“This is a practice that symbolises the purification of one’s own body and mind. Each year, we design the pond uniquely to provide a fresh and engaging experience,” he said.

He said a slew of activities would be held by various committees under the PBA including chanting sessions, promoting traditional Chinese calligraphy, facilitating the registration of marriages and others.

“This year’s Wesak Day celebration is planned in a similar scale as last year’s, reflecting our tradition of moderate but meaningful observance.

“While the overall size of the celebration remains consistent, we continuously strive to enhance the experience through thoughtful preparations and unique decorations.

“Our goal is to ensure that every Wesak Day is a memorable and spiritually enriching experience for all attendees,” he added.

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