Vesak Day, a sacred holiday honouring the Buddha’s Birthday, has been extremely popular in Singapore since the time your grandmothers were wee lasses, so it’s time to get in of the action if you haven’t been doing so already.
Falling on Tuesday, May 17 this year, huge crowds have been known to assemble at the various Buddhist temples to partake in the festivities. Get to partake in the action and listen to monks chanting sacred hymns, caged birds are set free by devotees, Buddhist youths organize blood donation camps and distribute gifts to the poor.
The best spots in the city for observing these celebrations would be within the temples themselves, where you can enter free of charge (of course, donations are welcome and highly recommended). Some of our favourite spots include the Buddhist Lodge at River Valley Road, the Thai Buddhist Temple at Jalan Bukit Merah, as well as Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple at Jalan Toa Payoh.
Come nightfall, the festivities culminate in grand candlelit processions all across the streets of Singapore, and this beautiful and meditative parade is a definite must-see for all!
For a slightly unconventional approach to this sacred occasion, join the good folks at Going Om for REMEMBERANCE, a Vesākha Special to light special “OM” candles, which symbolizes a reminder to every ‘lightness’ of being, even of one’s trials and weaknesses. Bathe a Buddha gently with perfumed water and flower petals to act as a symbol to purify your mind through awareness and reflection, and generally meditate your way to a contemplative evening within serene surrounds!
Vesak Day falls on May 17, Tue and is celebrated at various locations islandwide.