Festivities for Vesak Day begin at the crack of dawn in Singapore, as devout Buddhists congregate at temples for a ceremony.
This is when the Buddhist flag is hoisted, and hymns are sung in praise of the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings), and the Sangha (his disciples).
Offerings of flowers, candles and joss sticks are also brought to the temples. The fact that the candles and joss sticks burn down and the flowers wither through the day is meant to remind all worshippers that life is fleeting and transient, that all things decay and eventually pass away.
Statues of the Lord Buddha are illuminated, and the day often ends with candlelight processions through the streets.
Head to Phor Kark See Temple on Bright Hill Road for a peek at one such procession.
This is where you’ll see devotees practise the two-hour-long ‘three-step, one-bow’ ritual, taking steps on both knees, bowing at every third step as they pray for world peace, personal blessings and repentance.
Source: Singapore Tourism Board website