Hundreds throng Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple for Wesak Day celebrations

KUALA LUMPUR: The 130-year-old Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields here was a vibrant sea of colour and devotion as hundreds of devotees and visitors celebrated Wesak Day.

From the early morning hours, the temple grounds buzzed with activity as worshippers arrived to pay their respects, pray and participate in rituals commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.

Dressed in traditional white attire, they also lit oil lamps and candles to symbolise the light in their lives and chase away darkness and evil.

Tay Guan Siong, a devotee, said it was an annual ritual for him and his family to visit the Maha Vihara Temple to receive blessings.

He came early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and large crowds.

"I prefer to come in the morning because there are fewer people, so it's quicker to do what we need to do here. If there are too many people, it's difficult. The parking here is also far away," he told the New Straits Times.

The 83-year-old retiree hoped for a blessed life and safety for his family.

Another devotee, Vicnessena, 39, and her husband, Gnanasena, 45, travelled from Cheras with their two children.

Vicnessena said they had made early preparations for Wesak Day the night before.

"Our preparations since yesterday included offering prayers and food to our in-laws and family members who have passed away. We woke up at 6.30, prayed, and came to the temple to receive our blessings."

She said just like Deepavali, she and her family would visit their relatives today.

Jalan Berhala, the road leading to the house of worship, was closed to traffic to make way for stalls selling offerings such as flowers and candles.

Religious chants and hymns from the temple could be heard from loudspeakers.

A group of volunteers from the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) helped the temple committee prepare breakfast for the devotees.

Kim Sia, 23, a trainee from Pulapol, said he was excited to be part of the volunteering team to give back to the community.

"We left Pulapol early in the morning and arrived here around 7am. We are serving food as a charity, and this is my first time coming to this temple.

"It feels good because we are always at our training centre, and once in a while, joining volunteering activities like this is rewarding."

Among others interested in the celebration was a couple from Belgium who were in Malaysia for three days before heading to Borneo.

Victor Max, 58, and his wife, Nancy Xaeles, 55, were in awe of their first experience of Wesak Day.

"We are very excited to come here to see how Buddhists celebrate Wesak Day. We did learn a bit about their practices and beliefs.

"It is indeed a wonderful experience for us in Malaysia as we can see things we don't usually encounter."

Victor said they were eager to join the evening parade during the temple's Wesak Day celebrations.

The festivities will culminate this evening with about 20 decorated car floats participating in a grand 12km procession through Little India, Pasar Seni, Jalan Raja Chulan and Bukit Bintang.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories