Wesak is the festival of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth. It is a precious time when the entire sangha – adults and kids, parents and those without children – celebrates together.
For the Wesak ceremony, the children build a bower over a statue of the baby Buddha, which is placed in front of the main altar. The statue depicts the baby with one hand pointing toward heaven and the other pointing toward the earth, and stands in a deep bowl of sweet tea. During the ceremony, a procession beginning with the priest goes by the bower, each bowing and pouring a ladleful of tea over the Buddha’s head. This commemorates the story of sweet rain falling on to the baby Buddha at birth.
After the ceremony, we have a birthday party. Naturally, Buddha gets a large birthday cake, and needs the very youngest kids to blow out the candles on it. A white six-tusked elephant zeñata is then systematically dealt with.