Vesak Day 2013

23.5.2013
Vesak day has never been exciting nor to be look forward for, its just another normal day to me (because I am not Buddhist) but this year my Vesak day is different. Very different.

I am still not a Buddhist, still religion free. I guess being religion free gives me the freedom to extend and expose myself to different things as I'm not bound to one ground. I guess I just don't like to be tied up or should I say I just hate to be limited. I need to be free to fly. Haha. Okay, this is abit off topic. Back on trail.

What is Vesak Day? As I said, I am not a Buddhist, so I do not fully understand it but I roughly know what it is about. Here I share with you what is on the wikipedia.

On Vesākha day, devout Buddhists and followers alike are expected and requested to assemble in their various temples before dawn for the ceremonial, and honorable, hoisting of the Buddhist flag and the singing of hymns in praise of the holy triple gem: The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha( his disciples).

Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as the beautiful flowers would wither away after a short while and the candles and joss-sticks would soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction. Devotees are enjoined to make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind. They are encouraged to partake of vegetarian food for the day.
Vesak Day is also about bringing happiness to the others.

Celebrating Vesākha also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick. To this day, Buddhists will distribute gifts in cash and kind to various charitable homes throughout the country. Vesākha is also a time for great joy and happiness, expressed not by pandering to one’s appetites but by concentrating on useful activities such as decorating and illuminating temples, painting and creating exquisite scenes from the life of the Buddha for public dissemination. Devout Buddhists also vie with one another to provide refreshments and vegetarian food to followers who visit the temple to pay homage to the Enlightened One.

By now you would have some slight understanding on Vesak Day. You are welcome. Haha!

So It's Thursday now, tomorrow will be the Vesak Day, but the activity starts tonight. I will be going to Kong Meng San tonight together with Kareshi. Its our first time joining the Vesak Day "three steps, one bow" ceremony which goes one round of Kong Meng San (we can already foresee that it's gonna be a tough and long night tonight). Because its our first time, Kareshi even sent me a video to learn the correct prostration days before, but he said that was the Tibetan style. We might just do the Chinese style. We will see how it goes tonight.

More updates will be posted after the event tonight ya~ ^_^

24.5.2013
So yesterday kareshi and I went to Kong meng San for "3 steps,1 bow". We arrived at 12am. It's 12am, but yet still very happening outside.
See, there's still lots of people there, and yup that's my kareshi.

This is my first time coming to kong meng San in the night.
It's beautiful!! I really think that I have abit of talent in photography. No? Never mind then.

Devotees are doing the "3 steps, 1 bow".

The starting point. No I'm not in the line yet, I am just walking by to the queuing destination.

Everywhere you go, you will see candles all over~ it's like stars shinning the the dark sky, I see hopes sparkling in the darkness.

More candles and lanterns.

We walked to the waiting area at level 4 where the giant Buddha lies, and this is what was waiting for us.

Just look at the crowd! It's 12am+ but yet so crowded! The most touching part is that I see all ages of people, very old folks and even very young kids! I'm impressed!

At this point if time, we are still queuing in the hall feeling excited!

After 3.5 hours of waiting.. We are finally out of the hall.. Feeling stoned But that's not the end of waiting.. The line continues...

And continues all the way out to the field.. The people on the left are the people in the formation of 3 steps, 1 bow.  It's very near to the ending point ady. And the people on the right are those who are still queuing to begin including me and kareshi.

Bowing. You can see that There are people who do not bow. If you have knee problem or so, it's okay for you to just stand. Just do your best.

Finally, our turn!! Lets begin!! At 4.30am.

After 2 hours... 

Here we are. Drenched. By sweat. I tell you, it's not easy! Really not easy as how it sounds! Every 3 steps, a bow with the correct prostration, at an even pace.. It's hell not easy! I insisted on bowing throughout the whole journey but my prostration was abit off during the ending part as my knees are really giving ways (my knees are weak as i had a ligament torn many years back). There are times where I really feel like giving up, hoping to see the end line ASAP, wanted to just walk and air bow, but I told myself "you started it, then do it right, do it till the end! If you are not going to finish it, better not start it!" So I bite on my teeth and continue!

When i see The Buddha statue at the finishing line, I honestly feels like crying out of touch! I am proud of myself. It's another mile stone I manage to accomplished, moreover its with my kareshi. Its even extra meaningful! I can dedicate my merits proudly in front of Buddha without feeling guilty for giving up half way or not Bowing till the end. I did it!


After dedication of our merits, we showered the Buddha.

When we stepped out of kong meng San, it's the fresh air that welcomes us. It's the breaking dawn. It's another brand new day. It's another hope to believe in. It's another dream to hold on..

P/s: Let's do it every year from now on, said kareshi. And I nodded.


~Live to Dream ♥ Dream to Live~
Audrey

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