Wesak practices improved by Covid, say devotees

Wesak practices improved by Covid, say devotees

The Western Connect Magazine - Wesak practices improved by Covid, say devotees
Wesak Day marks Buddha’s birth and enlightenment, with celebrations returning after pandemic restrictions.

TWC – Devotees of Wesak, the day that marks Buddha’s birth and enlightenment, have said that the Covid-19 pandemic has helped to improve their practices. During the Covid-19, many devotees had to offer prayers and donations online. Still, this year they can look forward to celebrating in person with the return of the famous float processions.

The Wesak celebrations will proceed without Covid-19 restrictions for the first time in three years, as confirmed by the Ti-Ratana Youth Buddhist Section. However, they have made permanent pandemic-related changes, including promoting contactless donation options, allowing online pre-ordering offerings or donations, and live-streaming events.

During the pandemic, the Ti-Ratana Buddhist Society and other organizations held activities online, including prayers and sermons. However, the ritual of Buddha bathing, a traditional Wesak practice, was impossible to perform in person. Despite the return of physical celebrations, some events like exhibitions will remain physical-only, and live streaming will continue to benefit all devotees.

Devotees will also be free to choose whether to wear masks during the celebration period. Food handlers who have undergone health screenings will pack and prepare the food served during events and be required to use PPE.

Overall, devotees have welcomed the changes brought about by the pandemic, which have helped to enhance their practices and make them more inclusive for those who cannot attend in person.

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