Celebrating Vesak Day

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Vesak Day June 1, 2015

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We've all heard of Vesak Day, but what exactly does it stand for? In the spirit of being truly Singaporean,

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let's take a look at this important Buddhist festival and gain enlightenment on what it truly represents.

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Singapore's Buddhists celebrate Vesak Day to commemorate the Buddha's birth enlightenment and Nirvana

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Celebrated by Buddhist throughout the world especially...

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Common Practices During Vesak

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Meditation Self-reflection to seek inner enlightenment and peace

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Abstinence from Meat A mark of restraint from taking life during this holy day; Buddhism holds that all life is sacred

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Releasing Animals such as Doves and Tortoises Symbolises releasing the soul and giving up past sins, also a symbolic act of liberation to call for freedom of those who are in captivity, imprisoned or tortured against their will.

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Bringing Offerings of flowers, Joss-sticks and Candles A reminder of the impermanence of life

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Giving to Charity Helping the less fortunate follows in the footsteps of Buddha and generates good karma

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Reciting Verses To invoke peace and happiness for the government and people while reminding Buddhists to live in harmony with people of other faiths and beliefs, as taught by Buddha

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Observing the Eight Precepts Practicing morality, simplicity and humility to better humankind

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Bathing the Buddha Represents the purification and cleansing of the soul.

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Creating Vesak Gifts Make your own lanterns and cards for Vesak. Decorate them with symbols of the Buddha's birth and Enlightenment such as lotus flowers, lights and the bodhi tree.

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Temples are festooned with flags and lights, and lights, and captive animals are released. Mass candle light processions occur during this holiday, attended by devotees chanting sutras and paying homage to the Buddha.

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Buddhists make merit in this day by giving to the poor through charitable organizations, often visiting prisons and hospitals to share their bounty with residents

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