In Malaysia, literally almost everyone loves a good holiday. Sometimes, in a country that embraces culture and diversity, we may go the extra mile and want more holidays than the many that we already have such as Wesak Day.
Let's get a little fun fact about Wesak Day.
For many, many decades, Wesak Day has been a very important religious celebration among the Buddhists. It is a day set to commemorate three significant events in the life of Gautama Buddha such as his birth, his enlightenment and his death.
However, for the safety of the public from the world pandemic, the Movement Control Order (MCO) may have caused people to take a different approach in all festive celebrations and that means to celebrate at home. After all, with years and years of celebrating Wesak Day, how could people just stop, right?
So, how different is Wesak Day this year?
According to Malay Mail, the religious Buddhist temples are welcoming all Buddhists to join the celebrations by using the convenience of modern technology. That’s right…they are going livestream! The avenue of Facebook Live and Zoom Meetings has made a way for prayers and religious studies.
During this celebration, many Buddhists go to the Malaysian Buddhist Association building and wait in line to wash a statue of Buddha. They believe this ritual will cleanse their souls and purify them. However, because of the COVID-19, they would not be able to gather and conduct their annual ritual.
Instead, through social media, they are now offered an opportunity to do the same ritual via online according to their respective procedures.
Before the wrath of COVID-19, attendees go to temples to pray and make offerings such as flowers and candles to remind them that everything is temporary.
Particularly in Kuala Lumpur, the Buddhist community always held a parade which consisted of decorated floats that lasted for several hours. One of the floats usually has a large statue of Buddha. People walk beside the floats carrying flowers and candles.
Looks like we won’t be seeing any parade this year.
Even though we are seeing drastic changes and adapting to the new normal because of the pandemic, our fellow Malaysians surely know how to keep their spirits up and find a way to make the most of their holidays.
Watch this episode of Surely Malaysian and see which one you relate to when it comes to public holidays.