Devotees unfolding the giant canvas ‘Thangka’ to energise it with direct sunlight for 30 minutes and to receive blessing from Buddha during Wesak Day celebrations at the Enlightened Heart Temple in Ampang Baru near Ipoh, Perak.
As part of Wesak Day celebrations, Buddhist pour water over the shoulders of Buddha as a reminder to purify themselves of sin and to live a life of kindness. The Chempaka Buddhist Lodge in Petaling Jaya is also a focal point in the community, offering welfare services to the destitute, irrespective of colour and creed.
A devotee at Wesak Day celebrations at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.
Since 1949, Burma Road in Penang has been the home to one of Malaysia’s most colourful Wesak Day processions. Crowds including chanting monks will be among the many walking with floats of fresh, colourful flowers and bright lights. Here Mooi Chye, 56, prepares the floats for the procession.
Buddhist monks walk clockwise around the Buddhist Chetawan Temple in Petaling Jaya during the eve of Wesak. Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej made a personal contribution to the building of the temple.

Buddhists around Malaysia celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death

ON Wesak Day in 1956, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj delivered a speech asking all Malayans to reflect on the teachings of Lord Buddha:

“ these days of challenge, it is fitting that men of goodwill, irrespective of race or creed, should ponder on the teachings of Lord Buddha, which lead us to the path of enlightenment and peace.”

Over 50 years later, Tunku’s words still resonate with Malaysians who come together to celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death with their fellow Buddhist friends. With Buddhist temples reflecting the different communities that settled here (Sinhalese Buddhist, Thai Theravada Buddhist in and Chinese Mahayana Buddhist), Wesak in Malaysia is both spiritual enlightenment and a symbol of harmony and peace.

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