“And we are technically supposed to celebrate the buddha’s death and birthday. Like go to the temple. It’s in August I think? It’s called V-E-S-A-K.”
What do you do at the temples?
“You worship the priest and do meditation. Then usually you eat snacks. Probably not anymore because I think only the kids get snacks.”
What is your take on this tradition?
“I haven’t celebrated this for years.”
“I think there’s a tradition where you light lanterns.”
While my informant has forgotten his views on the holiday, he did note he enjoyed partaking in the traditions of his family. The holiday Vesak is known as the holiday that celebrates the three stages of the Buddha’s life, death, birth and reaching of enlightenment. Often this celebration involves lighting lanterns at the temples. Some of the places releasing the paper lanterns into the air. The three methods of celebrating Vesek were to first bring happiness to others, then praying to the Buddha and celebrating days of observance.
I noticed that the paper lantern celebration with sending them off to the sky was similar to the paper lanterns sent up as wishes in Taiwan. It is also interesting to see the religion celebrating a festival to offer charity to those less fortunate.