In photos: Buddha’s Birthday celebrated across Asia
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In photos: Buddha’s Birthday celebrated across Asia

BUDDHISTS across Southeast Asia celebrated the Buddha’s Birthday also known as Vesak on Tuesday.

Every year in May Buddhists commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing of the Gautama Buddha, and is marked as a public holiday across many countries in the region.

It is typically celebrated with praying at temples, the lighting of lanterns, giving food to the needy and providing offerings of incense and joss sticks.

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Vietnamese Buddhists pour scented water as they bath a statue of the child Buddha during Vesak Day celebrations which commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and his entry into Nirvana at Quan Su pagoda, in Hanoi, Vietnam May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/ Kham

SEE ALSO: In photos: Holy Week celebrations in the Philippines

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Buddhists carry candles as they pray during the Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, at a temple in Chonburi province, Thailand, May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

In Buddhist-majority Thailand, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Buddhists to continue observing Buddhism’s five moral precepts and attend a wien thien ceremony to mark the day, reported the Bangkok Post.

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Buddhists pray during the Vesak Day, an annual celebration of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, at a temple in Chonburi province, Thailand, May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters /Athit Perawongmetha

“Many devotees will head over to Buddhist temples to take part in prayers and rituals, such as bathing the Buddha with scented water, which Buddhists believe will purify the mind and body, and lead to a blissful and enlightened life,” said Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a statement posted to Facebook.

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A monk blesses the crowd ahead of Vesak Day at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore May 28, 2018. Source: Reuters/Edgar Su

“Wishing all Buddhists a peaceful and blessed Vesak Day.”

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Devotees perform the “Three Step One Bow” ritual ahead of Vesak Day at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore May 28, 2018. Source: Reuters/ Edgar Su

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Devotees pray ahead of Vesak Day at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery in Singapore May 28, 2018. Source: Reuters/Edgar Su

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A Tibetan Buddhist monk wearing traditional costume waits to perform ritual dance on Vesak Day at the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ipoh, Malaysia May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters /Lai Seng Sin

In his Vesak Day address, Malaysia’s newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promised to ensure the rights and freedoms of all the country’s citizens regardless of religion or ethnicity.

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A Buddhist devotee carries a Buddha statue on her back on Vesak Day at the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ipoh, Malaysia May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/Lai Seng Sin

“The Malaysian society of different races, languages, religions and cultures are used to celebrating religious festivals together. This is one of Malaysia’s many specialties,” he said as quoted by Channel News Asia.

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Buddhist devotees display a giant thangka, a sacred painting on cloth, on Vesak Day at the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Buddhist temple in Ipoh, Malaysia May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/Lai Seng Sin

“It is also a manifestation of the freedom of religion practised in Malaysia and this freedom is not limited to religion, but also freedom of language, customs and cultures.”

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At Borobudur in central Java, Indonesia – the world’s largest Buddhist temple – thousands of Buddhist monks descended to circuit the temple in a ritual called Pradaksina.

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Buddhist monks walk around Mendut temple during the practice of Pradakshina ahead of Vesak Day in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, May 27, 2018. Source: Antara Foto/Hendra Nurdiyansyah/ via Reuters

In a Vesak message posted to Twitter, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo urged citizens to “purify and cleanse your hearts for peace and happiness together”.

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Buddhist monks and nuns lead a procession at Borobudur Temple on Vesak Day in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia May 29, 2018. Source: Antara Foto/Andreas Fitri Atmoko/ via Reuters

Jakarta’s Muslim governor Anies Baswedan paid a visit to a large Buddhist temple in the west of the city to mark Vesak.

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Buddhist monks attend the annual Vesak Day celebrations which commemorates the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and his entry into Nirvana at Quan Su pagoda, in Hanoi, Vietnam May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/ Kham

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Children light candles during the Vesak Day celebrations at Duoc Thuong pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/ Kham

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The full moon is seen behind a Buddha statue at Duoc Thuong pagoda in Hanoi, Vietnam May 29, 2018. Source: Reuters/ Kham