A joyous festival

14 May 2011 - 10:27pm Comments Off

After many months of preparation for the Saga Dawa Festival, better known in Malaysia as Wesak, the big day finally came and Kechara’s Wesak Fair was celebrated on 7 May 2011.

Wesak Day is one of the most important festivals in the Buddhist calendar as it marks three important events in the Buddha’s life – his birth, nirvana and parinirvana. By remembering the story of how the Buddha gained Enlightenment, this auspicious day is a chance for Buddhist practitioners to reflect and move towards Enlightenment themselves.

Very exciting Wesak Fair!

The highlight of the event was the bathing of the Buddha, where friendly volunteers recited Dzambala’s beautiful mantra to accompany the ritual. Visitors also made offerings to the Buddhas by lighting candles and incense, as well as making pearl and flower offerings. Of a more secular level, offerings were also made in the form of generous donations to some of Kechara’s departments such as Kechara Soup Kitchen and Kechara Animal Sanctuary.

After visitors had paid their respects to the Buddha, many headed straight for the food stalls. Choosing lunch had never been more complicated! The huge variety of delicious vegetarian food was amazing, all of which were sponsored by kind Kecharians in their effort to help raise funds for Kechara House. Visitors had a choice between Indian food, organic mixed rice, fried rice, noodles, pastries, dessert and almost everything under the sun…all they had to do was to ask for it!

A cold drink to cool down?

Being held on a weekend, when most people usually use the time for shopping, Kechara Wesak Fair brought practically the whole shopping mall to the visitors. There was a little something for everyone…the dry goods stall was ideal for those who were supposed to go grocery shopping, but instead chose to come to the Fair. There were even clothes and entertainment items which were sold at a bargain…and the best thing was that it was all guilt-free shopping, since all proceeds were going to a charitable cause.

Monkey, monkey, monkey...don't I look like a monkey?

And let us not forget about kids! They absolutely loved being at the fair, as there was never a dull moment. Not only was there a safe playground for them to run around in, but they also had cool video games to keep them occupied at the games counter while their parents shopped around. Artistic children had the chance to create their own masterpiece in the arts and craft section and later in the evening, the live performance was very popular with both adults and children. This year, Kechara brought back the ever-popular magic and capoiera shows, as well as a new addition…face changing!

Let's rumba! I mean capoiera!

If you missed out, well let us tell you this – walking around the field was a nice experience. Looking at the sea of smiling faces of people, familiar or not, gave everyone such a good feeling. Visitors looking up to the sky were greeted with beautiful prayer flags, hung across the field to bless all who walked under them. Such a wonderful day it was…the Kechara Wesak Fair gets better every year!

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