Singapore’s largest Mahayana Buddhist temple, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, will be hosting a series of events to mark Vesak Day over the next two weekends. Commemorating the birth, Nirvana (enlightenment) and Parinirvana (death) of Buddha, this year’s celebration has an overarching theme of “Gratitude”.
Proceedings begin at the Bright Hill Road monastery at 7pm on May 14 with the Light Transference ceremony. Venerables and devotees will circle the perimeter of the complex holding lighted candles, symbolizing the transference of Buddha’s wisdom.
At 5pm on May 20, the eve of Vesak Day, devotees will participate in the 3-Steps-1-Bow Ceremony, circumambulating the complex once again, pausing every three steps to bow while chanting mantras. Following the ceremony, visitors can look forward to viewing hundreds of lotus-shaped Aspiration Lamps in the monastery’s Dragon Pond before joining the new Venerable Hong Choon Museum guided tour. On Vesak Day (May 21) itself, families will be treated to a series of shows, workshops and activities and all are welcome to visit the monastery’s mobile thrift shop.
Founded in 1921, Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery was Singapore’s first traditional Chinese forest monastery. It’s home to one of Asia’s largest bronze Buddha images and the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. For more information, visit their website.