Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wesak Day 2009 Candlelight Procession

What? Wesak Day 2009 Candlelight Procession

Where? Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

When? 9 May 2009 (Wesak Day)

How Long? 12km (Probably under distanced...Heheh!)

Wesak Day serves to remind ourselves of the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing away of the Lord Buddha. In 1950, the World Fellowship of Buddhists declared Wesak Day to fall on the first full moon day of May. So, it is not that Lord Buddha was born, enlightened and died on the same day! Heheh! The exact date is immaterial but what we do on that day is!

Wesak Day is an uposatha or precept day, a day when we make efforts to be generous, to observe at least the five precepts (Precepts are commitments to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication), learn the Dhamma or meditate.

Doing what the Buddha said is the best way to honour Him i.e, by practising His teachings; not just by flowers, joss-sticks or candles.

But heck...Candlelight procession also makes good opportunity for shutterbug like me. With a 12km walk thrown in, it provides great exercise too! :)

This year the route for the candle procession was changed to include Bukit Bintang area.

I reached the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple around 6:00pm. The temple area was crowded with devotees.

Took a packet of free vegetarian rice from the food station. As I was eating, I saw two elaborately dressed dancers and another two drummers were preparing for a performance. I quickly finished my rice and got my camera ready....

Turned out that they were going to perform for Minister in the Prime Minister's Department and Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.

Didn't really bothered with the long speeches that followed the performance, I went around the temple taking photographs!

Little monks! Aren't they cute?

I like this one the most. Looked very cheeky as he splashed, I mean blessed the crowd with holy water.

The procession started around 7pm when the sun was setting....

There were around 20 floats.....bearing images of Lord Buddha, beautifully lit and decorated from various temples around the country.

If the people could not go to the temple to see Buddha....Buddha would come to see the people....out in the street! :)

How many devotees turned up for the procession? My guestimate is around 20,000-30,000. Old, young, male, female, two-legged and four legged too! Heheh! Watch the video later!

I didn't specifically follow a float. I was walking up and down the road, trying to get some good shots and see if i could spot anyone I know. Only spotted Kevin Chow near the Petaling Street area.

At one point, I even climbed up an a flyover so that I could get some over the head shots of the procession. The scene was spectacular! People were moving like tiny ants along the highway chanting and singing.

Most of the floats had at least two monks each on them to blessed the crowd with holy water. I got myself blessed a couple of times! And my camera too! (Note to self: Next year bring plastic cover to protect camera from holy water! LOL!)

From Petaking Street, the procession proceed to Jalan Raja Chulan to Bukit Bintang area.

I stopped at McDonald Bukit Bintang to buy a cup of large Coke. Very thirsty. :)

I made a detour from the route to get this shot from the Bukit Bintang Monorel station. Really amazed by the massive turnout for the candlelight procession.

I was really tempted to take the monorel back to KL Sentral. However, I decided to complete the candle procession. As the old Chinese saying - "送佛送到西". Send Buddha must send all the way to the West...LOL! It's actually an expression to say that "if you do something, do it all the way till the end".

So, I walked on....from Bukit Bintang area, to Pudu, then Petaling Street and back to Brickfields.

The moon....beaming gloriously on this holy night.

Here are some video clips I compiled from the Candlelight Procession.


Note: Soundtrack - Main Theme from the Last Emperor by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

This float was radical! It was like a mini rock concert on wheels! Complete with its own groupies! LOL! Check it out. Not easy singing for 4 hours straight! LIVE!

Some dog lovers taking the opportunity to walk their furry pets on the streets of KL. Not everyday they get to do this, you know. How come I didn't see any cats around? LOL!

I just hope they brought their pooper scooper or at least some plastic bags in case their dogs poo-pooed on the street!

The title said it all. Click to view, OK? :)

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and video clips. If you would like to see more of my photos, please go to.... http://picasaweb.google.com/rwmphotovault/WesakDay2009#

Oh yes...This year's theme for Wesak Day celebration is "Religious Understanding For A Harmonious Society".


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