Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

Vesak Day 2013 in Singapore

Vesak Vibes in Chinatown, Singapore

Chinatown decorated for Vesak Day

Vesak Day or Wesak Day
24  May 2013, Friday

Vesak Day, also known as Wesak Day, or more commonly known as “Buddha’s birthday”, celebrates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.  This holiday is widely celebrated in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and many parts of Asia.  In Singapore, the holiday is started in the morning with Buddhists and devotees gathering at temples for a morning ceremony.  During this ceremony, a Buddhist flag will be raised  and monks will recite the sutras.  Followers will visit temples to pray and to give offerings of flowers, incense, and much more.  These offerings symbolize that life will end since flowers will wilt and incense will turn to dust.  Other rituals that will be observed are:  releasing caged birds, bathing a Buddha statue, candlelight processions, having vegetarian meals, and doing good deeds.  Acts of good deeds are known as “dana” and it’s believed that doing good deeds on this particular day brings more rewards.  Buddhists will come to visit the needy and give donations, and young Buddhists often organize blood drives at local hospitals.  The bathing of a Buddha statue is to commemorate his birth and some believed it’s also to remind followers to purify their minds from greed and hatred.   At night there will be solemn candlelight processions through the streets.  Some of the popular temples to celebrate this holiday are:  Thai Buddhist Temple at Jalan Bukit Merah,  Buddhist Lodge at River Valley Road, Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple at Jalan Toa Payohand, and The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown.

Bathing of Baby Buddha

Bathing of Baby Buddha on Vesak Day

 

There are many different sectors of Buddhism in Singapore and each celebrates Vesak in unique ways.  The largest sector is the Mahayana which is made up of Chinese Singaporeans.  Temples for this sector will perform the two-hour “three-step, one-bow” ritual.  Buddhists will be on their knees as they step up and will bow at every third step as a way to ask for peace, blessings, and forgiveness.  Another sector is the Theravada which has mostly Sri Lankan Singaporeans and Burmese Singaporeans and they will have the ritual of cooking rice in milk.  This ceremony is to remember Buddha’s last meal before his enlightenment fast.  You can see this practice at Sri Lankaramaya Temple at St Michael’s Road or  Burmese Buddhist Temple at Geylang.

 

 

2013 Singapore Holidays & Events

The following is a list of 2013 Singapore Holidays & Events!

January
1

► New Year Day 1 January 2013, TuesdayTwo popular New Year’s Eve countdowns will be ‘The Marina Bay Singapore Countdown’ and Siloso Beach Party’ at Sentosa.  There will be live performances and fireworks to ring in the new year.  Clarke Quay and Orchard Road will also be crowded with party-goers.

 

February
10

Chinese New Year 10 February 2013, Sunday – 11, February 2013,  MondayChinatown will come alive during this holiday with decorations, streets lit with lanterns, night-markets, and shopping malls filled with people shopping for the new year.  There will be lion dances at Chinatown, Clarke Quay, and Boat Quay.

 

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Eid ul Fitr 2012

Eid ul Fitr 2012
19 August 2012, Sunday

Eid ul Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, August 19, 2012.  Eid ul Fitr or commonly known as Eid is a three-day holiday in the Islamic religion that celebrates the end of Ramadan.  Ramadan is the month of fasting and during this month worshipers fast from sunrise to sunset everyday.  Eid was first celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad after the winning the battle of Jang-e-Badar.  During Eid, Muslims wear nice clothes and decorate their homes with lights and etc.  Eid is also a time for people to be more aware of their sins and make amends. Read more »

Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore Merlion - Holiday Chaser

Singapore, you’ve probably heard of it as a country known for its cleanliness, strict rules, and super low crime rate. Singapore is an island smaller than Hong Kong located in between Malaysia and Indonesia. Chinese make up the majority of the population while Malay and Indian make up about 10% each of the population. Almost everyone can speak English so it’s easy for travelers to get assistance. Singapore is a small island so one can finish visiting the whole country in probably 2-3 days. Singapore is an ideal destination for a stopover before you visit more countries in Asia. Read more »