Vesak | Buddha Day
The festival commemorates the birth, enlightenment (*Nibbāna), and death (*Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha. On Vesak Day, Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions.
As Buddhism spread from India it was assimilated into many foreign cultures, and consequently Vesak is celebrated in many different ways all over the world. In India, Vaishakh Purnima day is also known as Buddha Jayanti day and has been traditionally accepted as Buddha’s birth day.
At Borobudur, thousands of Buddhist monks will join to repeat mantras and meditate as they circuit the temple in a ritual called “Pradaksina”. This is a form of tribute to the temple.
+ More information > Wikipedia • Wikivoyage
Borobudur (map) is a Buddhist stupa and temple complex in Central Java, Indonesia dating from the 8th century, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of world’s truly great ancient monuments, the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth, and few who visit fail to be taken by both the scale of place, and the remarkable attention to detail that went into the construction.
Devotees may bring simple offerings of flowers, candles and joss-sticks to lay at the feet of their teacher. These symbolic offerings are to remind followers that just as the beautiful flowers would wither away after a short while, and the candles and joss-sticks would soon burn out, so too is life subject to decay and destruction.
The exact date of Vesak is based on Asian lunisolar calendars and is primarily celebrated in Vaisakha, a month of both the Buddhist and Hindu calendars, hence the name Vesak.
Vesak, commonly known in Nepal as “Buddha Jayanti” is widely celebrated all across the country, predominantly, *Lumbini (map) – the birthplace of Buddha, and Swayambhu (map) – the holy temple for Buddhists, also known as “the Monkey Temple”. The main door of Swayambhu is opened only on this very day, therefore, people from all over Kathmandu valley are stimulated by the event.
BUS > DAMRI • bosbis.com
RAIL > PT Kereta Api – the government-owned train company, runs trains across most of Java and some parts of Sumatra. + tiket.com (*Rail transport in Indonesia)
AIRPORTS > Most visitors to Indonesia arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali or Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta.
WATERWAYS > Indonesia is all islands and consequently boats have long been the most popular means of inter-island travel. Ferries may take you on long trips lasting days or weeks, or short jumps between islands for several hours. However, not all destinations are served daily.
The largest company is the state-owned PELNI, whose giant ferries visit practically every major inhabited island in Indonesia on lengthy journeys that can take a week from end to end. ASDP runs fast ferries (Kapal Ferry Cepat, rather amusingly abbreviated KFC) on a number of popular routes. Indonesia Ferry >> indonesiaferry.co.id