Monday, May 19, 2008

Wesak Day Parade

Wesak day. The day where Buddhists all over the world commemorate events of significance to Buddhists of all traditions: The birth, enlightenment and the passing away of Gautama Buddha.

After imprisoning myself in my room to study for my final exams for the whole week, I decided to take a break and breath some fresh air. Usually at this day, you will be able to see people lining up along the main road waiting for the procession to pass by. The parade will start from Sek Kia Ee Buddhist Temple and move along the old main roads around Melaka until it reach back. Refer map below.

I took my place at near the Jonker Street bridge because I was thinking of going around Jonker first while waiting for the parade to arrive. The streets were full of people. I'm lucky when I took the highways to reach my destination, I din't encounter much jams. But still Melaka is flooded by Singaporeans and holiday makers, anticipating that Monday would be a public holiday.

I reach the other end of the road of Jonker Street and I thought it was still early so I took my sweet time walking around looking at all those traders promoting their unusual goodies.

All kinds of decorative items on sale

More decorative items on sale

Lighters of all shapes and size

Slippers on the block

Typical Chinese Lantern

By the time I reach the other end of the road, half of the parade had already passed. People are flocking along the roads watching all the beautifully decorated carts and statues pass along. A number of statues pre-decorated beautifully with flowers and shining ornaments being carried by lorries or carts, tailed by followers move along the street. It's a pity that my camera had a 0.8 to 1 second lag. By the time I snap, they had already move along and all I can get was some blurry photos.

Buddha Statue

Another Buddha Statue

Lion Dance to cheer the crowd

More Buddha Statue

Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin

Sek Kiah Ee Dharma School Jr. Students join the parade.

People holding candle walking in the parade

Sek Kiah Ee Kindergarten Children Joining the parade

The parade this time was fast. It ends around 9.30pm compare to last time which only finish their route about 11.30pm usually. Nowadays, the procession are just some lorries carrying statues of Buddha with some decoration moving along the street. You can't see people acting or walking with tall sticks and doing acrobatic acts like last time in the 1990s. I really enjoy watching them when I was very small. Really missed them alot.

I wish that Melaka have more of such processions and parade but of different themes and culture. In Japan, they have cosplay parade, trooper dancing and all kinds of other wacky ideas. Maybe it is due to the economy that people not willing to spend that kind of money. But I think, if we have such celebrations and collaborations, we would be able to attract more tourist who will be spending money here. Eventually, we would benefit economically since all these foreign spendings.

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