Vesak Day, also known as Buddha Day, is a sacred day to millions of Buddhists worldwide. It commemorates the day that Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, and passed away. It gives us an opportunity for quiet reflection on Buddha’s teachings and the values of compassion, wisdom, and kindness.
It has evolved over time and brings different meanings to different people!
After 2 years of muted celebrations due to the pandemic, this year’s May 15 will see practitioners gathering and celebrating it in different ways. If you are trying to plan out your Vesak Day weekend to bask in the spirit of Vesak, check out these 10 things you can do!
1. Plan your calendar for your temple-hopping!
Find an excuse to head out for the long weekend by visiting the many temples that are open. Use our directory to navigate the many online and offline activities. Who knows?
You might find yourself in the middle of a concert or peaceful chanting session.
Your directory is right here!
2. Three steps, One bow
The three-step, one-bow ceremony is an expression of devotion and serves to lessen mental defilements or build virtue as one goes through the activity. This practice, which symbolically reminds us of the difficult but rewarding journey to enlightenment, has been passed down and has evolved into the 3-Step, 1-Bow we know today.
Book your free tickets here
3. Bless your pet!
Are you a paw-rent? This might just be for you! Following the Buddha’s Universal Love for all beings including animals, Thekchen Choling is organising their first animal blessing night event on the eve of Vesak Day! Happening on 14th May from 7.30pm to 10.30pm, there will be many fun-filled and interactive activities for you and your pet to enjoy!
Check it out here!
4. Check out some Food carnivals!
While tuning in to some peaceful Buddhist teaching (food for the heart), why not check out food for the body?
5. Help fill the stomachs of the needy
In the spirit of Buddha’s compassion shown to many beings, why not give back by volunteering at a Soup kitchen? There are multiple time slots and different tasks you can choose to volunteer with Willing Hearts.
Hone your chopping and cooking skills here!
6. Find a quiet space to experience peace
Visit nature places with your insect repellant to reconnect with nature by taking in the good vibes. Plug into the sound of nature to meditate or try one of the meditation audio guides!
We highly recommend botanic gardens, marina barrage, or a nearby park!
7. Be a Buddy to seniors
We often think that giving means the gift of money. This Vesak, we invite you to rethink the idea of generosity! Volunteer with YouthCorp SG & Healthhub to strengthen the digital literacy of our seniors by empowering them and reducing the waiting time at the polyclinics.
Giving starts here!
8. Go vegetarian!
In the spirit of non-harming, why not go vegetarian? The possibilities are endless with vegetarian food. Check out this sleek guide to vegetarian food places in Singapore!
FYI! Circuit Road Hawker Centre has one of the highest concentrations of vegetarian hawkers.
9. Watch a movie related to Buddhism
Netflix lover? Watch this live-action TV series about the Buddha. I was personally hooked on it!
Alternatively, watch a short < 30 mins documentary about the late famous zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh. Be inspired on Vesak!
10. Kick start your meditation habit
Always trying to start the ‘meditation habit’ that every productive/mental health guru has been talking about?
Why not join HOL’s free meditation challenge for 30 days? Who knows you might just start a new meditation habit that last!