Thousands turn up at temple for rituals ahead of Vesak Day

Devotees at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bright Hill Road yesterday. The monastery is marking this year's Vesak Day for a month with the theme of "Season of Gratitude". Above: Devotees (from left) Macsonn Anjaya, four, Madam Audrey Ang, 6
Devotees at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bright Hill Road yesterday. The monastery is marking this year's Vesak Day for a month with the theme of "Season of Gratitude". ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
The Venerable Kwang Sheng leading monks in the "three steps, one bow" ceremony, which symbolises the long and difficult journey towards enlightenment and is meant to purify the mind of misdeeds. It started at around 5pm yesterday and ended early this
The Venerable Kwang Sheng leading monks in the "three steps, one bow" ceremony, which symbolises the long and difficult journey towards enlightenment and is meant to purify the mind of misdeeds. It started at around 5pm yesterday and ended early this morning.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Devotees at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bright Hill Road yesterday. The monastery is marking this year's Vesak Day for a month with the theme of "Season of Gratitude". Above: Devotees (from left) Macsonn Anjaya, four, Madam Audrey Ang, 6
Devotees being blessed with perfumed water at the end point of the "three steps, one bow" ceremony.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Devotees at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bright Hill Road yesterday. The monastery is marking this year's Vesak Day for a month with the theme of "Season of Gratitude". Above: Devotees (from left) Macsonn Anjaya, four, Madam Audrey Ang, 6
Above: Devotees (from left) Macsonn Anjaya, four, Madam Audrey Ang, 61, Madam Mylene Yan, 35, and Mannton Anjaya, six, performing the Bathing of Prince Siddhartha rite, in which a statue of Buddha as a baby is bathed in perfumed water, symbolising the purification of unwholesome deeds. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

More than 20,000 people turned up at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery to perform rituals in reverence of Buddha - the founder of Buddhism - yesterday on the eve of Vesak Day.

This year, the monastery located in Bright Hill Road is marking Vesak Day for a month with the theme of "Season of Gratitude".

Vesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, and is celebrated by Buddhists worldwide.

The festivities at the monastery include a Vesak Fair and iconic rituals such as the "three steps, one bow" rite and the Bathing of Prince Siddhartha ceremony.

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The "three steps, one bow" rite is a long procession done in repentance and reverence of Buddha. It started at around 5pm yesterday and ended early this morning.

Adherents performing it take three barefoot steps and then prostrate, repeating the process around the perimeter of the temple for 2-1/2 hours each time. Groups of adherents take turns performing the procession through the night.

Monks carrying out the "three steps, one bow" rite - walking three steps barefooted before prostrating - done in repentance and reverence of Buddha, at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bishan yesterday. Buddhists mark Vesak Day today. It
Rite of repentance to mark Vesak Day: Monks carrying out the "three steps, one bow" rite - walking three steps barefooted before prostrating - done in repentance and reverence of Buddha, at the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Bishan yesterday. Buddhists mark Vesak Day today. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This year, the monastery is celebrating Vesak Day for a month with the theme, Season of Gratitude, and the festivities include a Vesak Fair. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sends his greetings to all Buddhists on Vesak Day.
  • The Straits Times also sends Vesak Day greetings to all its Buddhist readers.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Thousands turn up at temple for rituals ahead of Vesak Day'. Print Edition | Subscribe