The Significance of Vesak 卫塞节的意义
Vesak is the most important event of the year for the Buddhist community. It commemorates the birth, Enlightenment and final Nirvana of the Buddha on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month. This occasion is observed by millions of Buddhists throughout the world. It is a festival to rejoice with goodwill to all. It is also an occasion for reflection of our own personal spiritual development. For many Buddhists, the observance of Vesak begins early in the morning when they assemble at temples to observe the Eight Precepts. Others may join the communal observances by going through the ceremony of taking the Threefold Refuge, observing the Five Precepts, making offerings at shrines and chanting. They may also participate in special processions and circumambulation, and listen to monastics giving sermons of the Buddha’s teachings. In many temples, Buddhists take part in the ceremonial bathing of an image of baby Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha-to-be) placed in a basin of perfumed water strewn with flowers. The perfumed water is scooped with a ladle and poured over the statue. This symbolises the determination to purify one’s unwholesome deeds with wholesome deeds. Most Buddhists take vegetarian meals on this day as they recall the Buddha’s teaching of universal compassion. On this day, temples are colourfully decorated with Buddhist flags and lights, while shrines are filled with flowers, fruits and other offerings.