Hundreds celebrate at Vesak Great Joy Party

By Margaret Perry, Channel NewsAsia, May 19, 2008

Hundreds celebrate at Vesak Great Joy Party

SINGAPORE -- Monday is Vesak Day, which is celebrated by Buddhists the world over. Locally, hundreds of people from all religions marked the occasion at the Vesak Great Joy Party organised by Singapore Buddhist Welfare Services.

President S R Nathan kicked off the event by showering seeds to light up flowers of love.

And there was plenty of entertainment while a vegetarian lunch was served.

The guests were invited from 30 voluntary welfare organisations, and included senior citizens, the handicapped and children from special schools.

Vesak Day was special for 47 guests who were also celebrating their birthday.

The youngest turned five, and the oldest was 90.

But they were not the only ones to receive gifts and hong baos.

Fifty-dollar Vesak Day red packets were given to all the guests.

Separately, a group of 28 friends organised a special day out for the less fortunate as part of Vesak Day celebrations.

30 elderly residents from the Peacehaven Nursing Home enjoyed a light lunch at the New Majestic Hotel. They were accompanied by 45 volunteers - both organisers and their friends - who spent their time chatting with the elderly and getting to know them.

The senior citizens then joined about 70 children from three care homes for a carnival at the newly-opened HortPark.