Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Accidental Tourist - Vesak Day 2012

To mark my 3rd year holding onto my DSLR, I continue with my yearly tradition of covering the Vesak Day festivities at various temples in Singapore - my blog entries of visits made in 2010 and 2011

For this year, I decided to head down to 3 temples i.e. 
(1) Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Temple (aka Bright Hill Temple to me) is the largest Buddhist temple in Singapore and also holds has the largest '3 steps 1 bow' ceremony in the evening before Vesak Day. 

I continue to express my utmost respect for all participants of this ceremony - to me, undertaking a ceremony that requires one to walk 3 steps before fully prostrating yourself on the hard tarmac floor for 2 whole hours is worthy of respect. How grueling? Well, I only took the photos and my thighs and body was aching all over for 2 whole days after the evening shoot. My collection of 3 photos marking the ceremony. 

Head Abbott together with his Monks at the start of the Ceremony

(2) Thekchen Choling Tibetan Temple which has a special ceremony that involved the unveiling of a 14foot/ 3 meter long Thangka only on Vesak Day. The purpose of a Thangka is intended to serve as a record of, and guide for contemplative experience. They are intended to convey iconographic information in a pictorial manner. One can donate prayer flags and wishing ribbons - my "to-do" list for next year is to attend the fire puja ceremony that will be conducted in the evening. 

Butter Lamps
Bathing the Buddha Ceremony

(2) Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple was also on my "to visit" list this year as it's Singapore's oldest Buddhist temple and second largest in Asia. Built between the years 1902 to 1908, the temple literally translates to the Twin Grove of the Lotus Mountain Buddhist Temple. The grounds are HUGE - a mental note was to venture into the grounds of this magnificent place  early next year. 

Till the next time, onto the world & beyond!!!

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