The Peak of Vesak Celebration at Borobudur Temple Held Serenely, Adorned with 2,568 Lanterns

Vesak Celebration at Borobudur Temple
The Peak of Vesak Celebration at Borobudur Temple Held Serenely, Adorned with 2,568 Lanterns

The 2568 BE National Vesak Day celebration reached its peak on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Marga Utama Field, Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java. This year, the event was celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence, concluding with the release of 2,568 lanterns.

Before the lantern release, Buddhist devotees took part in a meditation session led by Bhikkhu Sangha. The event wasn’t limited to Buddhists alone; the general public was also invited to join the lantern release at the main field of Borobudur Temple.

“After the religious ceremonies are completed, the public and devotees will be shown the proper way to release the lanterns,” stated S. Hartati Murdaya, Chairwoman of the DPP Walubi and Chair of the 2568 BE National Vesak Day 2024 Committee, in an official statement on Thursday, as reported by Kompas (May 23, 2024).

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Hartati Murdaya elaborated that the lanterns released are made from environmentally friendly materials that fully decompose after floating in the air, ensuring no waste is left behind.

This approach proved effective during the 2023 Vesak lantern release, with no insurance claims or public complaints recorded. MBMI had meticulously prepared for various scenarios by arranging for insurance, fire extinguishers, ambulances, and more.

“The Vesak lantern release is a highly anticipated event each year by the public. This release has become an iconic part of National Vesak Day at Borobudur Temple. Each year, people from across Indonesia and abroad, both Buddhist devotees performing rituals and tourists, come to Borobudur Temple to participate in or witness the lantern release,” she explained.

The Tri Suci Vesak commemorates three significant events: the birth of Prince Siddhartha, his attainment of Enlightenment and becoming the Buddha, and the Parinirvana (passing away) of Gautama Buddha.

This year’s exact moment of Vesak occurred on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 20:52:42 WIB. The National Vesak activities for this year were centered at Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java.

“The theme for the 2024 National Vesak Day is ‘To Live Happily as Beings and Humans, Let Us Enhance Awareness as Taught by the Buddha,’ with the subtheme ‘Avoid Worldly Greed, Ignorance, Anger, and Hatred,’” Hartati stated.

To accommodate the high public interest, there were two lantern release sessions this year: the first from 19:00 to 21:00 WIB, and the second from 21:30 to 22:30 WIB.

“Lanterns symbolize enlightenment, inner peace, tranquility, happiness, and the fulfillment of hopes, prayers, good intentions, and dreams written by participants on special stickers attached to the lanterns. Over time, public interest in this event has continued to grow,” added Fatmawati, Coordinator of the National Vesak Lantern Release and Chairwoman of Wanita Buddha Mahanikaya Indonesia.