Thai monk Banthe Prayat Thongrat meditates outside Gumpung Temple in Muarajambi, Jambi, on Sunday (Antara Photo/Wahdi Septiawan)

Prayers, Lanterns, Eternal Flame: Celebrating Vesak in Indonesia

BY :ANTARA PHOTO

MAY 19, 2019

Monks from several Southeast Asian countries joined Indonesian Buddhists in Vesak celebrations all over the country on Sunday. Major Buddhist temples such as Sewu, Muarajambi, Trowulan and Borobudur attracted crowds of thousands, including tourists. 

Monks came to the ninth century Borobudur Temple – the largest Buddhist temple in the world – in Magelang, Central Java, at crack of dawn on Sunday to meditate and celebrate the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death.

Buddhists in Trowulan, East Java, the former site of the 13th century Majapahit kingdom, cleaned Buddha statues – including a giant Sleeping Buddha – and decked out their Mahavihara in bright colorful flowers.

Meanwhile, Buddhists in Semarang, Central Java, invite their Muslim, Christian and Hindu neighbors to join an interfaith Vesak celebration. 

In one of the most popular – and Instagrammable – Vesak traditions, Buddhists and visitors at Borobudur Temple released thousands of lanterns into the night sky on Sunday evening. 

A monk prays at Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java on Saturday (18/05). They pray to reflect Buddha
A monk prays in front of a stupa at Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Buddhists clend Buddha statues during the 2563 BE Vesak celebration at Mahavihara Mojopahit Trowulan, Mojokerto, East Java on Sunday (19/05). (Antara Photo / Zabur Karuru)
Cleaning a Buddha statue at Mahavihara Mojopahit Trowulan in Mojokerto, East Java, on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)
Monks receive charity or alms from residents during the Pindapata procession in Makassar, South Sulawesi on Sunday (19/05). (Antara Photo / Arnas Padda)
Monks receive alms during the Pindapata procession in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Sunday (Antara Photo/Arnas Padda)
Buddhists dress in South Sumatra traditional attire during Vesak Day celebration in Dharmakirti Monastery in Palembang, South Sumatra on Sunday (19/05). (Antara Photo / Feny Selly)
Buddhists dressed in traditional attire from South Sumatra during a Vesak celebration at Dharmakirti Monastery in Palembang, South Sumatra, on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Feny Selly)
Muslims kiss a Buddhists during Vesak Day celebration in Batur Village, Getasan, Semarang Regency, Central Java on Sunday (19/05). Silaturahim is a mutual forgiveness. Muslims, Christians and Catholics participate the rituals as a manifestation of the unity and diversity in local community (Antara Photo / Aji Styawan)
Muslims attend a Vesak celebration in Batur, a kampung near Semarang, Central Java, on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Aji Styawan)
Bhikkhun? celebrate the Vesak Day at Muarajambi, Jambi on Sunday (19/05). The celebration is followed by thousands of local Buddhists and foreign monks. The largest ensemble in Southeast Asia. (Antara Photo / Wahdi Septiawan)
Monks from all over Southeast Asia congregate in Muarajambi, Jambi, for Vesak on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Wahdi Septiawan)
A number of Buddhists brought gunungan during the procession of Sarana Puja Waisak at Sewu Temple, Prambanan, Klaten, Central Java, on Saturday (18/05). The rituals takes place from Lumbung to Sewu Temple by carrying fire from Mrapen Grobogan fire and holy water from seven water springs (Antara Photo / Aloysius Jarot Nugroho )
A 'gunungan' being carried during the Sarana Puja Waisak ceremony at Sewu Temple in Prambanan, Central Java, on Saturday (18/05). (Antara Photo/Aloysius Jarot Nugroho )
Monks prays at Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java on Saturday (18/05). (Antara Photo / Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Monks pray at Borobudur Temple on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Buddhists surround the Buddha Sleeping statue during Vesak celebration at Mahavihara Mojopahit Trowulan, Mojokerto, in East Java on Sunday (19/05). The Tri Suci is reminiscent of three sacred events in the life of Buddha Gautama; birth, the attainment of perfect enlightenment and the Buddha
A Sleeping Buddha statue at Mahavihara Mojopahit Trowulan on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Zabur Karuru)
A monk lights candles for the rendering of services during Vesak at Sewu Temple, Prambanan, Klaten, Central Java on Saturday (18/05). The ritual means pray for the deceased ancestors and humanity on earth (Antara Photo/ Aloysius Jarot Nugroho)
A monk lights candles at Sewu Temple on Saturday. (Antara Photo/Aloysius Jarot Nugroho)
Monks perform pradaksina or walk around the temple carrying the Dharma fire with a torch taken from Mrapen Grobogan during the Vesak Day in Mendut Temple, Magelang, Central Java on Friday (17/05). (Antara Photo / Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Monks perform 'pradaksina' – walking around the temple carrying torches lit by the Mrapen eternal flame – at Mendut Temple in Magelang, Central Java, on Friday. (Antara Photo/Hendra Nurdiyansyah)
Visitors of Borobudur temple ignite lanterns during Vesak Day celebration at Lubini Park, Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java, on Sunday (19/05). The release of thousands of lanterns is a symbol of peace (Antara Photo / Andreas Fitri Atmoko )
Visitors to Borobudur Temple release lanterns during a Vesak Day celebration at Lubini Park near Borobudur Temple on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Andreas Fitri Atmoko )

 

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