Today is Vesak Day. For many in Singapore, it is just another day off to rest or play with friends. But for Buddhist, it is a day for religious observation.
Vesak Day is meant to commemorate Buddha and his teaching of universal peace. It remembers his birth, enlightenment, and death, though it does not actually fall on one of these days (at least, as far as we know). It falls on the first day of the full moon in May. It is named after the month on the Indian calendar.
In Singapore, Buddhists celebrate the day with elaborate ceremonial rites, including chanting mantras, freeing of caged animals, and making donations to various causes.
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