The celebration of Vesak Day 2022/2566 BE (Buddhist Era) is underways, centred at Borobudur Temple, Magelang, Central Java.
This year’s Vesak Day commemoration is the first to be held in person for two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because the country is still in a pandemic, participants for celebrations are limited. In zone I of Borobudur, only 1,200 people were allowed and they had to maintain health protocols.
Celebrations tool over 14 to 16th May 2022, referring to the Vesak Event Book 2566 BE. On Saturday, cone cutting and distribution of basic necessities at Borobudur Temple were done.
The procession from Mendut Temple to Borobudur Temple then occurred this Monday at around 6am local Magelang time/WIB.
The General Chairperson of the Indonesian Buddhist Representative, S. Hartati Murdaya, and the Central Java Governor, Ganjar Pranowo, also released the procession participants to accompany the dharma fire and the blessed water of the Tri Suci Vesak 2566 Buddhist Era that were previously buried in Mendut Temple.
The dharma fire was taken from Mrapen in Grobogan Regency and the blessed water was taken from Umbul Jumprit in Temanggung Regency, both located in Central Java.
The governor greeted the parade participants who came from various regions in Indonesia and settled in to watch them.
“Hopefully, this is part of the spirit to be able to return after two years of slumping and not going anywhere because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said, quoted from Antara.
Following the parade, there was a ceremonial or Dharma Shanti held at Lumbini Park, Borobudur Temple at 11:13am. Later, there will be a release of lanterns accompanied by a prayer together at the main gate of the Borobudur Temple Tourism Park complex.
Coordinator of the 2566 BE Vesak Celebration at Borobudur, Head of the Indonesian Buddhist Representative in Central Java, Tanto Soegito Harsono, is grateful that the Vesak celebration could be held again at Borobudur this year.
“We’ve twice missed doing Vesak at Borobudur. We are very grateful Buddhists can happily celebrate Vesak which is an important day for Buddhists in Borobudur although it is still on a limited scale,” he explained.
Towards the peak of the 2022 Vesak Day celebration, the tourist route at Borobudur Temple on Monday has been adjusted, according to the General Manager of the Borobudur Temple Tourism Park, Aryono Hendro Malyanto.
Tourists from the direction of Yogyakarta who can usually pass through Balbapang will be diverted to the T-junction of the Blondo gate. Furthermore, tourists who have entered the Borobudur Temple area will also be subject to scenario implementation so as not to disrupt the planned worship.
As for the tourist parking area, it remains normal, namely entering from gate three through the same door. When in the Plataran area, visitors will share space with the worshippers who are utilising the Kenari Plataran area as the huge altar will be used for worship.
Therefore, visitors can only access up to half of the south side away from the Kenari Plataran area. Tourists who want to visit Borobudur Temple today are advised not to worry because there will be special officers who will give directions.