Wesak Day in Malaysia falls on Tuesday, 29 May. The significant day marks the birthday of Buddhism founder Gautama Buddha, as well as his enlightenment and his passing away.
To celebrate the special day, Buddhists would ‘bathe’ the Buddha and observe the Eight Precepts, where devotees would refrain from doing the following:
- Lying on a luxurious or high sleeping place
- Indulging in earthly pleasures
- Eating during the forbidden time
- Consuming intoxicating substances
- Saying incorrect things
- Doing any sexual activity
- Destroying living creatures
The ceremony begins at dawn when devotees gather at Buddhist temples to meditate and sing hymns, while monks chant the melodic sutras.
It’s then followed by a candle procession and symbolic offerings of joss sticks, candles, and flowers. Food and donations for the less fortunate will also take place during the ceremony.
We’ve listed 6 well-known temples for Wesak celebration in Malaysia where Buddhist devotees could go to. For the rest of us who don’t observe the faith, it’s also the perfect time to visit the temples over the long weekend holiday for some sightseeing.
1. Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Founded by the Sinhalese community in Kuala Lumpur in 1895, the Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple offers Full Moon and New Moon Day services, registration of marriage service, and Buddhism courses. Within the vicinity, you’ll find a library, a bookshop, and a kindergarten.
Address: 123, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.
You may also like: 7 Essentials to Include in Your Raya Budget
2. Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur
Another Theravada Buddhist temple of Sri Lankan origin, the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul offers a full spectrum of Buddhist religious activities, Dhamma classes, counselling, and blessing services. The temple is affiliated with the Sri Jayanti Welfare Organisation which provides assistance to the less fortunate and elderly people.
Address: Jalan Tujuh, Sentul Selatan, 51000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.
You may also like: Let’s Go! A 3 Days 2 Nights Budget Itinerary for Langkawi Under RM400
3. Thai Buddhist Chetawan Temple, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Located in the bustling city of Petaling Jaya, Wat Chetawan is a famous Buddhist Thai temple complex featuring intricate Thai architecture and design. Adorned with multi-tiered roof and multi-coloured tiles and gilded in gold leaves, the temple is a sight to behold.
The temple is also the favourite go-to site among devotees for other major celebrations like Songkran, Loy Krathong, and Dharma Day. Services and amenities available here include:
- Blessing services/house blessing/funeral prayers by monks
- Booking for Dana in the temple
- Full Moon and New Moon oil lamps lighting
- Weekly Sunday morning service and blessing
- Weekly Sunday Dhamma classes
- Columbarium Niches to house urns with ashes of the dearly departed
- Meditation hall
- Annual trips to other temples for Sangha Kathina Ceremonies
- Herbal Sauna Treatment Centre
Address: No.24, Jalan Pantai 9/7, Seksyen 10, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
You may also like: 5 Amazing Holiday Experiences Your Mum Would Love!
4. Poh Ka Buddhist Temple, Kuching, Sarawak
Built in 1900, Poh Ka Buddhist Temple is one of the oldest temples in Malaysia. The temple is popular among Sarawakian Buddhists on Wesak Day to participate in the special ceremonies, offerings, chants, and prayers taking place.
Address: No. 2222, Jalan Uplands, Simpang Tiga, 93200 Kuching, Sarawak
You may also like: 6 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Putrajaya and Cyberjaya
5. Wan Fo Tien Buddhist Temple, Kuantan, Pahang
Part of the Pahang Buddhist Association, Wan Fo Tien Buddhist Temple is also known as the Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall among local devotees.
The inside of the temple is nothing short of majestic, as you’ll find inner walls covered, from top to bottom, with thousands of tiles carved with the image of Buddha. Inside the main hall, a 5.5 meters high Buddha statue sits at the altar, made entirely from white jade.
On Wesak Day, the temple would conduct special ceremonies, chanting, and Dharma talks. The temple is also popular among non-devotees and followers because of its beautiful lake backed by a limestone hill with a rock garden lined with interesting marble statues.
Address: Jalan Sungai Lembing, Bandar Indera Mahkota, 25200, Kuantan, Pahang
You may also like: 10 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Malacca
6. Butterworth Buddhist Association, Butterworth, Penang
The Butterworth Buddhist Association provides welfare, education and recreational activities on a regular basis. Come Wesak Day, special ceremonies, offerings, prayers, chanting, and other special activities like blood donation drive will take place.
Address: 7156, Tingkat Mak Mandin 3, 13400 Butterworth, Pulau Pinang