KUALA LUMPUR: The Wesak Day celebration tomorrow has been much awaited by Buddhists in the country after two years of not celebrating it avidly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Buddhists nationwide have been busy making preparations for the meaningful celebration.

Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardana Society president Sirisena Perera said the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple in Brickfields, here, today had been preparing oil lamp counters, holy water and holy strings to be distributed to the devotees this evening onwards to begin their preparation for the celebrations tomorrow.

“We are opening the temple grounds to allow people to come in and carry out their religious obligations.

“However we are advising them to spend only a minimum amount of time, maybe half an hour, so that other people can come in as well. We hope it will not be too crowded which can be very difficult to control,” he said when contacted.

The temple’s committee member, Harold Jayasinghe, 65, said the temple would not be participating in a chariot procession in tomorrow’s celebration as the nation is still in the early stages of the transition to endemic phase, adding that this was to ensure the devotees’ safety.

In MELAKA, the Wesak Day celebration in the state would be enlivened with a decorated car procession not accompanied by devotees on foot as in previous years before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2022 Melaka Buddhist Association Wesak Day Celebration Committee chairman, Baba Cedric Tan said two chariots ferrying monks and statues of Buddha from the Seck Kia Eenh Temple would go on a procession around the city.

“Although they will not be accompanied by devotees on foot to avoid a congestion as the nation has just recovered from a pandemic, we took the initiative to extend the route of the chariots to 26 kilometres (km) compared to six km prior to this, around the city of Melaka tonight,” he said when contacted.

In SELANGOR, Special Committee for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Taoism (Limas) chairman Dato' Teng Chang Khim estimated that 5,000 devotees and visitors would attend the celebration with various activities from today 10 am to 3.40 pm tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shaari attended the Selangor State Level 2022 Wesak Day celebration which was held for two days from today at the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple, in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat.

In JOHOR, Metta Lodge Buddhist Centre Johor chairman Lim Tuan Cheat said 15 volunteers carried out preparations for the Wesak day celebration at the Buddhist Religious Centre in Johor Jaya, Johor Bahru.

He said Buddhist devotees were expected to fill the temple as early as 7.30 am tomorrow and various activities had been arranged including offering of rice to venerable monks, chanting and sermons before the ceremony to bathe the baby Buddha.

“We hope the ceremony which will end at 12.30 pm will proceed well and surely Buddhist devotees are eager to celebrate this festival because we have not been able to celebrate together for the past two years,” he told reporters when met at the centre here today.-Bernama