Buddhists celebrated Wesak Day nationwide today by visiting temples early in the morning to carry out religious rituals and pay tribute to Siddharta Gautama, the founder of the religion.
In Kuala Lumpur, some 3,000 devotees visited the Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple, Brickfields, to conduct religious ceremonies by lighting candles and bringing flowers to symbolise the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha.
In Selangor, Buddhists in the surrounding area visited the Fo Guan Shan (FGS) Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, Banting, with their families since last night to pray.
The temple, which houses the largest Buddha statue in the country, is also a tourist attraction, as well as an important cultural and educational centre for Buddhists.
Meanwhile, in Negeri Sembilan, some 300 devotees converged at the prayer hall inside the Malaysian Buddhist Association of Negeri Sembilan building at Jalan Tan Sri Manickvasagam, Seremban to perform religious rituals.
In Malacca, the Seck Kia Ench Temple at Jalan Gajah Berang saw more than 3,000 devotees carrying out rituals and offerings in conjunction with the celebration.
Chief Minister Adly Zahari was also present to wish the devotees happy Wesak Day as he mingled with them at the temple.
The shopping malls in the city were also crowded with people who took advantage of the public holiday tomorrow and some were there to make early preparations in conjunction with the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Elsewhere in Johor, the overcast weather did not prevent 40,000 Buddhists from gathering at the Fo Ghuang Shan Hsingma Si Bathing Temple in Skudai since the early morning to perform religious rituals.
The ceremony, which was attended by state tourism, women, family and community development committee chairperson Liow Cai Tung, also featured a Broadway dance performance by Guang Ming Institute of Performing Arts-Cebu from the Philippines.
In Penang, heavy rain did not dampen the spirit of the devotees from fulfilling their religious obligations to perform prayers at the Penang Buddhist Association at Jalan Burma, George Town.
In Perak, Deputy Health Minister and Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye joined other devotees performing religious rituals at the Malaysian Buddhist Centre Perak branch in Pasir Puteh, Ipoh, since this morning.
He told reporters later that Wesak Day symbolised the harmony and unity that existed in the country’s multiracial and multi-religious society.