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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.

卫塞节是佛教徒最重要的一个节日。在农历四月十五的月圆之日是 纪念佛陀出生、悟道及涅槃等三大事迹。世界各地数以万计的佛教徒都庆祝这个节日,这是一个让大家生喜及互相祝福的美好节日,也是我们检讨自己在心灵上进展的日子。对于一些佛教徒而言,卫塞节的庆祝仪式始于早上到佛寺去受八关斋戒。有些信徒会集体接受三皈依、受五戒、供养三宝及诵念经文,他们也可参加绕佛仪式并听闻佛法。有些则参加浴佛的仪式,即是将悉达多太子的圣像置于充满鲜花及香水的盆里,用勺子掬起净水淋在佛像上,为佛沐浴。这象征以善行来净化我们的恶业。许多佛教徒也会在当天忆起佛陀的慈悲教诲而持素戒杀。在卫塞节这一天,寺院挂上佛旗,张灯结彩,在佛龛献上琳琅满目的鲜花、水果及其他供品。