Wesak Celebration on May 5th

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Story by Miyun / Photos by H.S. Seow and Miyun

Than Hsiang Temple held a series of activities from April 28 to May 5 to celebrate Buddha Day. 10,000 people had visited the temple during the eight-day Buddha Day (Wesak) celebration.

May 5th was the last day of Buddha Day celebration at Than Hsiang Temple. Around 4 a.m. in the morning, the kitchen staff and volunteers began to prepare delicious meals for the day. Venerable Wei Wu reminded the canteen staff and volunteers to have a right attitude and a warm smile for giving their best service to the incoming crowd of devotees .

In the temple, each group of volunteers stationed at their assigned workplaces in the early morning around 8 a.m. Staff and volunteers from Mitra Welfare Centre stationed near the lift to guide the devotees up to the fifth and sixth floors to bathe the Buddha statues and participate in other programmes there.

Since the early morning, many Buddhists of all ages from all walks of life started thronging the temple to celebrate Wesak Day.

There were many programmes held throughout the whole day. Outside the Great Compassion Hall, there were counters selling fresh flowers, a charity sales counter selling handicrafts made by senior citizens from Wan Ching Yuen Centre and a counter with Than Hsiang Youth members introducing the coming Youth Camp which would be held from June 7th to 10th.

Inside the Great Compassion Hall, devotees could participate in the Buddha Day Lamp-lighting at the counter. Besides, there were donation counters where devotees could donate to Phor Tay High School, the temple and the float. Besides, there were Sangha's Blessing sections at the Hall in the morning and afternoon.

In the first floor, Than Hsiang Kindergarten held their open day, Color and Drawing Competition for Children and Children’s Drawing Exhibition. Visitors could also visit Wan Ching Yuen Senior Citizens' Home on the 3rd Floor and the library on the 4th floor.

The highlight of the celebration was the bathing of the miniature statue of Lord Buddha, a symbolic gesture of inner purification and removal of “greed, hatred and ignorance”. Devotees could visit the fifth and sixth floor to bathe the Buddha statue in the morning while in the afternoon they could do so at the Great Compassion Hall.

A documentary movie featuring the Buddha's path to enlightenment was shown in the Multi Purpose Hall on the fifth floor. Besides, there were volunteers introducing a huge Chinese ink painting by the internationally renowned artist Luo Tuo. Replicas of Luo Tuo’s painting are sold to raise fund for Phor Tay High School in Sungai Dua.

From 10.45am to 11.30pm, there was a Noon Offering held at the Main Shrine. About 100 people participated in the assembly led by Venerable Wei Wu. He delivered a talk about the origins and significance of Wesak after the Noon Offering. Later visitors flocked to the canteen to collect their free lunch boxes. More than 4,000 lunch boxes were given away. In the afternoon the temple provided free “pau” (Chinese white bread), fried noodles and coffee to devotees.

At the end of the day, Than Hsiang Temple sent off its three bus loads of devotees to participate in the Penang Wesak Float Procession at Malaysian Buddhist Association in Burmah Road.

More Photos

Staff and volunteers cooking food in the kitchen.
Volunteers preparing dishes for Noon Offering.
Floral waters in cups to be taken away by devotees.
Volunteers preparing lunch boxes.
Staff and volunteers being briefed by Venerable Wei Wu about servicing the crowd.
The full car park.
Visitors at the kindergarten.
Devotees lunching and watching movies at the Multi Purpose Hall
Devotees lining up for Sangha's Blessing.
Noon Offering at the Main Shrine.
Visitors lining up to collect lunch boxes at the canteen.
An Indian family taking the cups of floral water.
Different races celebrating Wesak together.
Sangha members and an employee preparing floral water in a basin for bathing the Buddha statue.
Donation counters for lamp-lighting inside the Great Compassion Hall
Volunteers packing lunch boxes.
Cooking in progress.
A counter selling flowers outside the Great Compassion Hall
Than Hsiang Youth members introducing the Youth Camp to visitors.
Visitors queuing up to take the lift.
Devotees buying flowers to offer to the Buddha.
Sangha's Blessing.
Venerable Wei Wu delivering a talk after Noon Offering.
Devotees collecting lunch boxes.
Visitors of other races having their lunch at the canteen.
Visitors of other races having their lunch at the lounge.