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From donating festive bags to the less fortunate to attending unique pet blessing ceremonies, here’s how you can celebrate Vesak Day in Singapore this weekend

Vesak Day, or the day of the full moon, is a sacred day to millions of Buddhists worldwide. It marks the day that Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and then passed away in his eightieth year. It is a time for quiet reflection on Buddha’s teachings, joy and peace.  

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This year, the day falls on May 15 and devotees will be flocking to temples to celebrate the occasion with blessing ceremonies, light offerings and more.

If you are trying to plan out your Vesak Day weekend, take a look at some of the ways you can celebrate the occasion in Singapore below.

1. Get your pets blessed

This year, for the first time, Thekchen Choling, a temple in Jalan Besar, will be hosting an animal blessing event. 

Families with pets can bring their furry friends down to the temple in the evening on May 14 where they will be able to receive a special blessing as well as make a light offering.

Pets will also be able to participate in fun activities such as paw painting during the event which will be guided by facilitators. 

2. Book tickets for the 3-Step, 1-Bow Ceremony

During Vesak Day, it is common to see devotees practising the two-hour-long “three-step, one-bow” ritual. This is when they take steps while on both knees and bow at every third step. While they do this, they will typically pray for world peace, personal blessings and repentance.

The ritual is typically practised in large groups from the congregation while a mantra is chanted which is why, this Vesak Day, you should make sure you book your tickets beforehand to participate in the ceremony.

You can check with your temple for booking information ahead of Vesak Day. 

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3. Make a light offering

During Vesak Day, it is common to see devotees lighting lanterns as they pay homage to Buddha.

In Singapore, devotees can purchase a lantern through their temple and either see it lit and displayed around the temple in an online or physical service, depending on the temple. 

The lanterns are meant to spread universal brightness across the world, and altogether create a very gorgeous ceremony. 

 

4. Sponsor a Maitri bag for the elderly

Vesak Day is a day to give back to the community and to pray for peace and unity. As part of the celebrations this year, why not donate towards a good cause by purchasing a Maitri Charity Bag?

Filled with festive goodies, these bags will be distributed to the elderly and less fortunate in Singapore to help them celebrate the occasion as well as to bring joy. 

The bags will also be distributed to residents at various nursing homes and homes for the disabled.

Donate here.

5. Attend the 2566 Vesak Festival

This Vesak day, the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum will be celebrating the 2566 Vesak Festival from May 1 to May 17.

The festival is pretty spectacular because it features a display of 2,000 auspicious lanterns that have been placed around the entire temple, lighting it up for the community. 

The festival includes activities such as light offerings and the bathing of Buddha. There will also be blessings and chanting at the festival on different dates that you can attend. 

Find out more here.

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