Have you ever wondered why Vesak day is considered a national holiday in Singapore. In fact, what is Vesak Day about anyway? Most Singaporeans do not know what it is about but is just happy to get an additional holiday. Today this flower delivery singapore team will be doing a quick guide on vesak day and the use of flowers in buddhism.
The day of the buddha
Vesak day is literally the day of the buddha and it is celebrated by buddhist all over the world. Given that buddhism has its roots in South Asia, most of the countries that celebrate this holiday are either in South East Asia or South Asia. This includes India, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore.
Vesak Day in Singapore
Even though most Singaporeans are buddhist, that ratio is low compared to other countries. Based on Singapore’s population of 5.8 billion, only about 33.9% consider themselves as buddhist. According to IndexMundi, the next biggest region practiced in Singapore is Muslim (14.3%) and Taoism (11.3%).
Two types of buddhism
Of all the buddhist in Singapore, most of them are Mahayana Buddhists. Yet contrary to popular belief, Mahayana buddhism is not a single tradition. Instead it is used to refer to a collection of buddhist traditions including Zen, Pure land and Tibetian. This branch of buddhism believes that Boddhisatva delayed his enlightenment so that he can help others in the human realm. This is different from Theravada buddhism which believes that Bodhisattvas seek enlightenment first before they can help others in the human realm.
Flowers and buddhism
For buddhist, one of the most critical flowers will be the lotus. Lotus flower is not just symbolic and appears in many images of the buddha. Buddha is often seen to be sitting in the middle of a large lotus flower. In addition, it is often used as part of the nature of buddhist scriptures To those who practice buddhism, lotus is symbolic of being pure in one’s actions despite being rooted in mud. Like the lotus flower, buddhist aspire to be detached from emotions and attachments in the human realm and seek to achieve inner peace and clarity.
In addition, the lotus flower needs to be grown in mud and cannot be cultivated in a clean sterile environment. By using lotus as the symbollic flower of buddhism, it is also a sign that buddhist are compassionate towards all beings in the human realm.
Uses of Lotus
Many of us will think only of the lotus flower but the truth is that lotus is a very useful plant. Its roots can be eaten or boiled into soup. Its leaves can be used to wrap food as seen in some chinese dimsum cuisine. Even after the flowers wilt, the seeds can be harvested and eaten too.
Even though we do not use the lotus flower in our daily floral arrangements, we are quite surprised at how versatile the lotus is. Further the deep meaning that the lotus flower have also makes many of us think about how we have led our lives. More often than not, we look at flowers for the aesthetic component or as gifts and few would look at it with such enlightened insight.
We hope you have enjoyed the post as much as we have writing it. Happy vesak day!