Across the World, people follow Lord Buddha and his teachings. However, in South East Asian countries, particularly China, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam etc a very significant population follow Buddhism and celebrate his birthday in a traditional and grand way.
It is observed as a public holiday and there are festivities everywhere. I was witness to one grand celebration in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park.
Really early in the morning the Basketball courts and Football courts in the Victoria Park, where the celebrations were planned, were washed thoroughly and stalls put up in rows.
School children and devotees started assembling right from the dawn. Temples and Monasteries were decorated and lanterns were lit to symbolise Buddha’s enlightenment. The altars were adorned with offerings and incense were lit, his images were bathed as water plays an important part in the festivities. In the attached video you can see how people bathe his idol and offer prayers.
It was a real treat to be a part of Hong Kong’s largest Buddhist festival.