IDNAround – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Sunday conveyed Vesak Day greetings for all Buddhists and prayed that may all beings be happy.
“To all my Buddhist brothers and sisters, Happy Vesak Day. May all beings be happy,” Jokowi stated on his Instagram account @jokowi observed here on Sunday.
On this year’s Vesak Day, Buddhist monks from various countries performed the Thudong pilgrimage by walking to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to observe the day there, he explained.
Thudong is a ritual performed by bhantes (Buddhist monks) that involves walking long distances, often up to a thousand kilometres, to emulate the Buddha. The monks performing the pilgrimage arrived in Borobudur on May 31.
The president added that the monks were warmly welcomed by residents along their journey in Indonesia.
A picture illustrating the journey undertaken by Buddhist monks to Borobudur Temple and the hospitality shown by residents to them accompanied the president’s remarks on social media.
On Sunday morning, adherents of the Buddhist faith partook in a walking procession from Mendut Temple to Borobudur Temple to commemorate Vesak Day.
They brought along the holy fire extracted from the Mrapen site in Grobogan District, Central Java, and the holy water from the Umbul Jumprit site in Temanggung District, also in Central Java, during the procession.
The holy fire and holy water had been sacred at a ritual by monks and other Buddhists at Mendut Temple earlier.
According to Indonesian Buddhist Council (Walubi) Executive Board Head, S Hartati Murdaya, the holy fire represents energy for life while water represents humility, purity, and serenity.
Besides the holy water and holy fire, the red-and-white flag and crops, such as rice, vegetables, and fruits, were also brought to Borobudur Temple during the procession.