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Tuesday May 17, 2011 - The Star
Buddhist devotees begin Wesak celebrations
GEORGE TOWN: Big crowds of Buddhist devotees in various parts of Penang started their Wesak Day celebrations last night.
At the Mahindarama Buddhist Temple along Kampar Road, devotees lighted 2,555 orange candles from 7.30pm for special prayers, offerings and as a personal homage to Lord Buddha during the full moon night.
The celebration was to commemorate the year 2555 in the Buddhist calendar.
Each year, the temple prepares the number of candles to match the anniversary date of the auspicious day that marks the birth, the enlightenment and the passing away (Parinirvana) of Lord Buddha.
Before the candles were lit, the devotees held up their palms and took part in 90 minutes of solemn Pali chanting.
The chanting session was led by the temple’s chief monk Ven E. Indaratana Maha Thera who hopes the devotees will remember the main teachings of Buddha — do good, avoid evil and purify their minds.
In Desa Permata, Ayer Itam, over 500 devotees participated in a two-in-one celebration at the new premises of the Hui Yin Seh organisation.
They lit lamps to commemorate Wesak Day and the organisation’s 38th anniversary.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was present at the event after visiting the Sian Chye Tong Temple in Hye Keat Estate earlier.