Waisak Day is a holiday in Indonesia that celebrates the life, death, and enlightenment of Buddha. The holiday is significant for Indonesia’s 1.7 million buddhists, while the majority of the population enjoy a day-off from their usual work or school activities.
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Buddhists in Indonesia honor Buddha and his enlightenment through various celebrations. The holiday is associated with flowers, bright colours, and many beautiful sights.
Just before dawn on Waisak Day, Indonesian Buddhists will gather at temples for ceremonies that honor Buddha and his teachings. Once the ceremony concludes, Buddhist flags are often hoisted. Indonesian Buddhists will also sing Buddhist hymns.
It is also a common practice for people to present an offering of flowers to a temple’s statue of Buddha. The flower is a symbol of life. Just like life, flowers are beautiful, but they will eventually wither and die. The flower offerings serve as a reminder to people that life is precious and fleeting.
The most popular place to celebrate Waisak Day is Borbudur. Borbudur is a large Buddhist temple that hosts an elaborate Waisak Day festival. Each year, many Buddhists from across Indonesia make a pilgrimage to Borbudur. People can visit Borbudur to encounter all of the temple’s monks gather for a large ceremony of meditation.
During this ceremony, the monks gather in a large circle and chant mantras. It is considered polite to leave a small donation of food or money for the monks during Waisak Day. Borbudur is also open to non-Buddhist visitors.