All You Need to Know about Vesak Day
May 21, 2016 is a public holiday known as Vesak Day, or Buddha’s Birthday, in Singapore and is a day for Buddhists to visit temples and offer candles and flowers.
I’ve visited some beautiful Buddhist temples in Singapore, so I will go back to one or two when the celebration is on. Why don’t you join me? Here’re my three picks:
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
The Buddha Tooth Relic is on many visitors’ ‘things to see in Singapore’ lists, and Vesak Day makes for a great time to make the trip. It has a Tang-dynasty-style temple and a museum with thousands of artworks depicting Buddha. If you only do one temple trip, make it this Chinatown giant.
288, South Bridge Road, Chinatown
Burmese Buddhist Temple
I find the pure-white marble Buddha here just mesmerising. Made in Myanmar and given to Singapore in 1918, this 10-ton, 11-foot statue remains as a large marble Burmese Buddha outside of its native country. It first opened in 1875, and a more recent rebuild completed almost three decades ago keeps to the typical Burmese temple design. It’s gorgeous.
Tai Gin Road, Novena
Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple
I mistook this temple for a contemporary museum, but entering the modern cubed compound felt just as spiritual as a temple with traditional architecture. I was just as full of wonder staring up at this award-winning design, which was nominated in 2014 for a World Architecture Festival Award, as I was at a golden roof kept from the original 1925 temple structure.
50B Jalan Bukit Merah Road
There’re tons of temples in Singapore. Ask my team if you’d like the lowdown on more.