Published on : Friday, April 14, 2017
Located in Central Java, this festival would take place from 9th till 11th May, 2017.
The pinnacle of the ceremony would occur during the full moon on 11th May, 2017.
Borobudur is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument and is known as the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is built around a hill. And, this temple flaunts of a marvellous design enriched with 504 statues of the Buddha and 2,672 relief panels. It is just a one hour drive from the immensely popular tourist city of Yogyakarta and is also quite close to Semarang, the capital of Central Java.
So, spiritual tourism is likely to receive a welcome boost thanks to this interesting ritualistic festival.
A rite would precede the event by obtaining sacred water from the springs at Jumprit in the Temanggung district on 9th May, 2017. On the same day, this ritual will be followed by igniting the Vesak torch whose flames are taken from the natural eternal flames at Mrapen in the village of Grobogan, in the Purwodadi district, Central Java. The flame and holy water will then be kept in the Mendut Temple to be paraded and used during the ceremony at Borobudur on the actual Vesak day celebrations.
On 9th May 2017 the ceremony will commence with prayers at the Mendut temple, then the crowds of pilgrims will walk together to the Borobodur temple carrying the flame of eternal fire, the holy water and Buddhist symbols that had been carefully guarded in the Mendut temple, to place these on the main altar which had been set up on the west side of the Borobudur temple.
On 11th May, the pinnacle of the Vesak ritual will commence at the Vihara Githa. Devotees will then continue with pradaksina or the ritual of prayers circling three times around the Borobudur temple, moving clockwise from east to west. An integral part of the ritual is the lighting up of candles and chanting of the Ghata Visaka Puja by the congregation. Nearing the final second of this year’s Vesak moment all devotees will meditate in deep spirituality followed by blessings given by the Mahathera Bhikkhu and Mahasthavira Bhiksu.
Marking the pinnacle of Vesak’s series of rituals some 1,000 Puja lanterns will be released into the sky symbolizing enlightenment for the entire universe.
Conducted annually during the full moon in the month of May or at the purnama sidhi , Vesak commemorates three most important events in the life of Buddha Siddharta Gautama known as the Tri Suci Waisak. The first important event is the Birth of Prince Siddharta in the Lumbini Gardens in 623 BC. The second episode is the enlightenment (nirvāṇa) in which Prince Siddharta became the Buddha in Bodhgaya at the age of 35 in 588 BC, and the third is the passing (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha at Kusinara at the age of 80 in 543 BC. Therefore, Vesak is also known as simply Budhha’s day.
Spiritual tourism in this part of the world plays a key role on motivating tourists to arrive here every year, for this festival.