This year’s Vesak Day has just passed. While some of us spent the long weekend snuggling in bed, many Buddhists celebrated the occasion with their furry friends.
On the eve of Vesak Day (14 May), almost 1,000 pets were brought to Thekchen Choling temple for a special Animal Blessing Night.
The event had such an “overwhelming response” that the temple added an additional session the next day.
According to television news network Euronews, nearly 1,000 animals were blessed at Thekchen Choling temple’s Animal Blessing Night last Saturday (14 May).
Hundreds of pet owners eagerly brought their fur-kids – including cats, dogs, and rabbits – to the event, which was part of the temple’s Vesak Day celebrations. Even crustaceans, turtles, and fish were reportedly spotted as well.
TikTokers shared videos of the snaking queues inside the temple as many people waited patiently for their pets’ turn to receive blessings from a monk or nun.
Despite the wet weather, numerous visitors continued making their way into the temple. A few men, presumably temple staff, held umbrellas to shelter them from the rain.
Videos of the event show many visitors happily queuing while carrying their furry friends.
One man even brought his pet tortoise and posed for a picture with his small reptile.
Another pet owner caught netizens’ eyes with his blue Adidas shoebox. The OP explained that there was a “super cute Syrian hamster” inside.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the temple’s Venerable sprinkled holy water onto the animals to bless them.
The first night of celebrations then concluded with a light projection show that turned the venue into a palace of deities.
The temple’s spiritual director told ST that the purpose of the show was to uplift devotees and encourage compassion.
He added that they hope to “inspire people to strive to become the light for others in times of darkness and be the best version” of themselves.
After the event ended, Thekchen Choling thanked all their visitors for the “overwhelming response” to their Animal Blessing Night.
They then invited those who missed the event to bring their pets for their Vesak Day Celebrations the next day, where there would be another blessing session.
Many pet owners expressed their excitement at the temple’s announcement.
Some shared that they couldn’t make it previously due to the “heavy rain and super standstill traffic”. The temple responded by helpfully marking out the available carparks in the area.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong attended the Vesak Day celebration as well and posted photos of himself mingling with the public and their pets.
It’s heartening to see the overwhelming response to the temple’s Animal Blessing Night as it proves just how many Singaporeans dote on their pets.
We’re sure everyone – two-legged and four-legged, furry and non-furry – had many fond memories together as they bonded over the paw-some activities.
Since this event was clearly very popular, we hope to see the return of such celebrations at more temples for next year’s Vesak Day.
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Featured image adapted from @tingahtingg on TikTok.
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