Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Vesak

Today, on the full moon day of the month of May, Buddhists celebrate Vesak, to commemorate the birth, enlightenment or attainment of Buddhahood, and the death of the Buddha.  To us, this is one of the most important days in the year.

When I was growing up, we would illuminate our homes with white electric lights, clay oil lamps will be set along walls, and the gardens would be decorated with paper lanterns which were lit with candles inside.  The illuminations are meant to symbolize the light of knowledge the Buddha gave us.  Several organizations would set up very elaborate lantern displays and construct structures known as pandals.  Pandals are decorated with painted images which depict scenes from stories about the life of the Buddha or other Buddhist tales and lit up with light bulbs.  There is a tradition of touring these pandals and they will stay up for several days for the viewing pleasure of many.  It is a day to go to temple, to observe religious precepts, to attend religious retreats, to meditate, and to give to others.  Stalls are set up, in temples and next to most of the pandals, where food (vegetarian) and drink (tea, soda, fruit juice, etc., nothing alcoholic) will be handed out to passersby. 

Here, of course, we celebrate in a more subdued fashion. We decorate the temples with lanterns rather than our homes, for example.  Since the full moon day in May is not a holiday here, we celebrate during the weekends, with the temples taking turns to host festivities throughout the month.  The devotees will set up a food stall, but the food will be for anyone who comes to the temple, not passersby. 

Today, I went to the office in the morning and received another huge bag of succulent plants from my supervisor! 

In the afternoon, I went to my appointment with the radiation oncologist.  The inflammation and swelling is better, but still there.  I am to return in another two months for a follow-up.  The mammogram will be postponed until then.

On my way home, I stopped at the library to renew one of my books.  I should have renewed it online, yesterday, but forgot, so I had to pay a $.35 fine.  I'll consider that a donation to the library fund! 

After I came home, I did a load of laundry (daughter's bed sheets), and dusted the furniture.  I should have vacuumed, too, but didn't. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The religion to which I was born and have chosen to observe
- Fond memories from my childhood
- A safe commute to the office and back (I drove by a 5-car accident on the way to work!)
- More plants for the garden!
- An undramatic visit with the doctor!

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Go to the office - DONE
- Doctor's appointment - DONE
- Wash daughter's bed sheets - DONE
- Water the seedlings - DONE
- Dust - living room, dining room, family room, bedroom - DONE
- Library to renew book - DONE

Woo hoo!  What do you know?  I did everything on my to do list! 

Thursday's To Do List:
- Go to the office
- Visit the weekly farmers' market
- Remake daughter's bed
- Vacuum
- Do the dishes

How was your Wednesday? 


  1. I hope you had a wonderful celebration! Andrea

  2. Yay for undramatic visits to the doctor!

  3. It's good to read that your swelling is a little better. Hopefully given more time there will be further improvement for you.
    Thank you for sharing your celebrations with us. I hope you had a blessed day. X

    1. Thank you, Jules. Hope you are doing well, too.

  4. Wishing you a Happy Vesak. I love learning about your religion, celebrations, customs and foods!

  5. Wonderful news that you're condition is improving. Know your disappointed you can't get your mammogram sooner, but a blessing that you're on the mend!

    1. Yes, Carolyn, things are taking time but there's improvement. :)

  6. Proud the swelling is better.. Know you will be happy when it is completely well. Praying for you.

    1. Thank you, Judy. Yes, I'll be happy when everything will be completely well. Hope you, too, will soon be well; keeping you in my prayers.

  7. That was interesting to read. I know the Buddha's birthday is celebrated in April in Japan, but there is also another very big celebration in around late October/November ... maybe that is Koubou Daishi's birthday... I am ashamed to have forgotten!

    1. Yes, I think it is celebrated in April in some countries, but, always in May in Sri Lanka. In October, there is a celebration to mark the end of the rainy season retreat.


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