I must admit the term Vesakha or Wesak didn’t mean anything to me until a few days ago, when I heard about a parade that was going to be happening near my accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.
I started researching online about it to see if it may represent me any interest to participate at all.
I found out that it’s also called Buddha’s birthday, which started to shed light on the topic. It’s a holiday celebrated by Buddhists and some Hindus and it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha.
Wesak Day is on May’s full moon day and it’s public holiday in Malaysia.
The service started at the Buddhist temple Maha Vihara in Brickfields at 6 pm with meditation.
The streets were decorated as for celebration and lots of people gathered, unfortunately many beggars too.
The first float was carrying a big Buddha statue decorated all around with lots of flowers and in front a little Buddha that was being washed carefully by every single person that lined up for the ritual that represents the purification.
Several other floats followed, each of them carrying a different Buddha in a shiny and flowery set up and most of them having in front the tiny Buddha for the washing procedure .
In the honor of Buddha’s teachings, according to which we shall manifest generosity, volunteers were offering free soup, water and a little package that included a candle, a few flowers and some candies.
Ready to join the parade, we lit up our candles and started walking the streets of KL with a feeling of happiness in hearts and smiles on our faces .
The full moon was shining bright from between the skyscrapers during the whole route that ran approximately 12 km and lasted more or less 4 hours, ending at the same place where it started.
For Buddhists a celebration, for locals a day off, for tourists something new , for me another unique Kuala Lumpur memory.