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An Enlightened Birthday

Bali Buddhist Celebrate ‘Buddha’s Birthday’

(5/26/2013) The Buddhist population of Kuta in South Bali undertook a variety of activities in anticipation of Hari Tri Suci Waisak that commenced at 12:05 pm on Saturday, May 25, 2013.

Alin Darna, a community member from Kuta, told the State News Agency Antara, “These activities include cleaning the neighborhood, visits to orphanages, blood donor campaigns involving hundreds of people who are part of the congregation of the Vihara Dharmayana Kuta.”

Darna said that clean-up activities also included the installation of tents surrounding the grounds of the Buddhist temple or Vihara, as well as decorating the area.

The tents helped accommodate the hundreds of worshippers who came to the Vihara to celebrate Waisak.

The celebration of Waisak – considered informally to be the anniversary of the birth date of the Lord Buddha – is done through meditations and prayers that ran from mid-day Saturday until late into the night. The date actually marks at once the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and death (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha

The commencement of the period of prayer and celebrations began with a “Pradiksa” ceremony in which worshippers walked in counter-clockwise circles around the statue of the Lord Buddha in order to present their best "right side" to the statue.