Aman Rochman and Boy T. Harjanto
Waisak celebrations were carried out peacefully across the archipelago last weekend, with Buddhists conveying messages of peace and tolerance in a politically tumultuous period.
Buddhists in Klaten, Central Java solemnly observed Buddha’s Day of Enlightenment by praying at Sewu Temple.
This year’s Waisak celebrations in Malang, East Java, which coincided with Ramadan, were slightly different from previous years.
Buddhists in the region used to celebrate Waisak by holding a series of art performances and carnivals on the streets around the city.
However, in respect for Muslims observing Ramadan, which began earlier this month, this year’s festivities were postponed until June 16.
On the holy day of Waisak, Buddhists observe the birth, transcendence and death of Gautama Buddha. Waisak encourages introspection and compassion for all living creatures.
The word “waisak” is derived the Pali language word “vesakha”or “vaisakha”in Sanskrit. “Vesakha”refers to a period on the Buddhist calendar that typically falls in May. [evi]