Harmony and Respect Marked This Year’s Vesak in Jakarta

An article in the Jakarta Post describes an unusual Vesak celebration in Jakarta, the largest city in Indonesia.

 In celebration of the Vesak holiday, Buddhist monks distribute packages of sugary delicacies for breaking the fast, known locally as ‘tajil’, to people passing the Dammadipa Arama Vihara in Batu, Malang, East Java, on Tuesday. (JP/Aman Rochman)
Buddhist monks distribute sugary delicacies on Vesak. (JP/Aman Rochman)

Vesak, May 29 this year, is the day of the full moon in the month of May. It is the most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world, as it marks the day of the Buddha’s birth in 623 B.C. and commemorates the day he attained enlightenment and the day he passed away in his eightieth year.

This year, Vesak fell in the middle of the Ramadhan fasting month.

According to Yudi Murdana, head of Jakarta’s Vesak celebration organizing committee, out of respect for the Muslim community comprising more than 86 percent of the Jakarta population, the events traditionally held for the day were canceled.

To show their tolerance and respect for their Muslim sisters and brothers, they replaced their annual parade with the distribution of sugary delicacies, known locally as tajil, to people passing through the area that afternoon for breaking their fast at the end of the day.

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Hindu and Muslim hostilities Ramadan Buddhist Vesak