CHIANGRAI TIMES– Visitors to Chiang Rai Thailand will be able to mark an important milestone in Buddhist spiritual history when the World Vesak Day Miracle celebrations take place from June 1st to 4th this year.
All of the celebrations taking place during the event will be held under the theme of the lotus flower, an important Buddhist symbol that is closely related to the birth of the spiritual leader, as it is believed that these flowers spontaneously bloomed to support the first steps Buddha took directly after his birth.
Vesak is an annual public holiday observed traditionally by practicing Buddhists in South Asian and South East Asian countries like Nepal, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indonesia, Pakistan and India. Sometimes informally called “Buddha’s birthday,” it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment Nirvana, and passing (Parinirvana) of Gautama Buddha.
In Thailand, where majority of the population are Buddhists, each year, the nationwide festival of Vesak Day is held to pay tribute to the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. The Vesak Day will fall on Tuesday, May 17th 2011, however celebrations can be seen for more than a week.
In Chiangrai, people will congregate around the Buddhist temples to pray and give thanks to the deity on the Vesak Day. Monks dressed in their saffron robes will lead sermons and services throughout the day, with candlelit processions often taking place once night has fallen.