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Festivities for this day begin at dawn, with praying, offerings and singing of hymns. Worshipers usually burn candles, joss sticks and place flowers at altars or in temples. The burning down of these offerings and withering of the flowers remind them of the transient nature of life, and motivates them to work towards Nirvana, a state of enlightenment.

Devotees will also perform charitable acts such as donating money to the needy or volunteering to help the vulnerable, as they believe that performing good deeds on Vesak Day will multiply merit many times over. Buddhists also stick to a vegetarian diet on this day.

Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Preschool students learning about Singapore's multi cultural festivals.

Do you know there are more than 1 school of Buddhism? Majority of Chinese Buddhists in Singapore are Mahayana Buddhists. Singapore’s Burmese and Sri Lankan communities practise Theravada Buddhism. The different schools of Buddhism came about because of the different interpretations of Buddhist doctrines. However, all schools still focus on Nirvana as the goal.

At Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan (SHHK) Cultural Academy, we teach our students to appreciate cultural diversity and respect different religions and the role they play in society.

Come find out more about our After-school care programme or Pre-school at www.shhkca.com.sg. Our Pre-school is open for registration now.

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