On Saturday, 21 May, I oversaw a team in organising a Vesak Day Commemoration at Haw Par Villa.
I believe this was the first Vesak Day event held in the 85-year-old park in years.
The commemoration started with Vesak Day blessings conducted in the Culture Courtyard.
We wanted to show unity in diversity. Hence, we invited six monks representing three major schools of Buddhism - Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. They were also of various ethnicities, such as Chinese, Thai, Burmese, Sinhalese, and Tibetan.
The blessings were followed by a procession around the park to bless the space. The procession stopped at major Buddhist figures such as Gautama Buddha, and Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
After two years of strict social distancing measures and online events, it was great seeing the monks physically lead the procession in paying respects.
Moving forward, Vesak Day will be one of the key events on Haw Par Villa’s calendar, in recognition of the significant number of Buddhist elements in the park.
All communities are welcome in Haw Par Villa to celebrate or commemorate festivals. The aim is to create a common space for all.