Thousand Lanterns of Vesak: One Of The Best Moments In Indonesia

Happy Vesak 2556 BE/ 2012. When someone goes or plans to go on vacation to any place in this world, the first thing he or she wants to find out first is the best thing they could get in that place. And when someone goes or plans to go on vacation to Indonesia, one of the best things in Indonesia is the observance of Vesak Day in Borobudur temple Magelang Central Java Indonesia. Vesak or Waisak is the Buddhists’ observance of Buddha’s birth. The ceremony highlights three important events of the Buddha’s birth in Lumbini, enlightenment to Bodhgaya, and passing away in Kusinara. In Indonesia the ceremony is always concentrated in the temple of Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. When? Different traditions use different calendars to calculate the Vesak Day, but it always falls in April or May. In Indonesia Vesak used to be observed every first full moon of May. And when it comes, thousand of Buddhists will be there to celebrate the birth of Buddha. Vesak in Indonesia is used to be called as Waisak, different traditions have different names like Vesakha, Vesak, Wesak, Visakah Puja, Vaishaka, Buddha Purnima, and so on.

Fhoto: Andika F. Putri

The observance of Vesak may fall in the full moon day, a whole day celebration, but the approaching ceremonies will always be done several days before the Vesak. There will be several ceremonies like Pindapata, ritual of taking holy water from Umbul Jumprit to be brought to Mendut temple, and the ritual of taking eternal flame from Mrapen to be brought to Mendut temple. When the Vesak Day is coming, the observance will be concentrated in the temple of Mendut and Borobudur. The first ritual is the 10:34:49 a.m. (Indonesian time) moment of Vesak in Mendut temple, the second ritual is the parade procession from Mendut temple to Borobudur temple, then the ritual in each hood, the fourth ritual is the ritual in the main stage, built in the yard of Borobudur temple, the fifth ritual is the Pradaksina where Buddhists will circle the Borobudur temple three times, and the last ritual is the ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak in the yard of Borobudur temple.

There will be thousands of Buddhists and tourists watching this observance. The ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak in Borobudur temple is a well known moment for years. It makes the ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak become one of the best moments to be seen once in a year. The crowd will be concentrated in front of the main stage as well as in its behind. Usually tourists will be participated in the ritual of Pradaksina, they’ll take some candles and join the Buddhists to walk along the Borobudur temple. The ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak is done after the Pradaksina. Buddhists will move from the temple toward the stage and so the attendances. The ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak will be started from the main stage where the Buddhists leader and monks lead the procession. Buddhist symbolizes lanterns as the torch of life which will carry the happiness, healthy, and wealthy. It was amazing, it was beautiful, it was unforgettable, and it was fabulous when the lanterns start to fly to the sky. There will be thousands of lanterns and more and more flying over the Borobudur temple. The ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak will be move from the main stage to the attendance area. All people will be staring up to the sky, watching thousand of lanterns flying over Borobudur temple under the light of the super moon. It is not a daily sight, it is a once in a year moment that you could only find in Indonesia.

What makes it special is the moment, the exact moment where thousands of Buddhists, thousands of people, and thousands of eyes stare at the same sky where thousand lanterns of Vesak and thousands of hopes and prays flying free up above and share the same sensation of magnificence. This sensation of watching the ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak lively from Borobudur temple is one of the recommended events to be watched in Indonesia. You should list it on your vacation plan to Indonesia or list it on things to do in May in Indonesia. Now, if you are looking for the best moment in Indonesia you already have the ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak in Borobudur temple and you could tell some of your friends to be your companion to witness the best event in Indonesia!

This year observance of Vesak Day was in last Sunday, May 6th 2012. The next Vesak day will be around May 2013, be the first one to experience the observance of Vesak in Borobudur temple next year. Make a tour to Borobudur temple Indonesia and list the ignition of thousand lanterns of Vesak in Borobudur temple into your Indonesia holidays 2013 things to do list!

Santika Hotels and Resorts


  1. Mayur Shah says

    I am definitely planning to be at the Buddha field( monument) on this Vaisaki.
    I plant to do detail photography of the temple….for this I am allocating 1 month time at the temple.
    I need your advise on the following,
    1) This one month photography time be before vaisaki celebration or after?…as frequency of tourist may disturb the work.
    2) I plan to stay at Manohara…any suggestion?
    3) What will be the weather?…..sun direction…for morning photography?
    4) Any other information you think can help me.
    I am a senior citizen, a photographer, a painter , a world traveler & Sanyasi( monk) of present age Buddha OSHO.
    Gautama Buddha is my north star in the journey of life.
    Great information.

  2. Wawan Surajah says

    1. be a month before, because there will be lot of all the ceremonies hold before the vaisaki. tourist frequency/ photographers/ journalists/ will always disturb you anyway (at vaisaki)
    2. you should stay at manohara, its the right place where you could also meet many photographers there.
    3. it was a whole rainy vaisaki day! in 2013 the wet season said to come from december – march.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *