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(Wesak Day) Join the Celebration & Parade at These 5 Buddhist Temples in Malaysia

03 Apr 2023


Wesak Day is an annual public holiday in Malaysia. This year, it falls on the 4th of May 2023. Wesak Day or Vesak is a festival that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Gautama Buddha. On this day, Buddhist devotees will go to a Buddhist temple to pray🙏, offer lamps & donations, bathe the Buddha statue and receive blessings. At 🌙night, most temples will have a parade with beautifully decorated floats, and everyone is welcomed to walk alongside it. So here are the 5 Buddhist temples in Malaysia where you can join the celebration & parade.


Chetawan Buddhist Temple

Located in Petaling Jaya, Chetawan Buddhist Temple or Wat Chetawan is a Thai Buddhist temple. It was built in 1957 (merdeka!✊) and officiated by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The Fine Arts Department of Thailand in Bangkok was commissioned to design the temple. The task of building the temple was then handed to local builders and skilled craftsmen from Thailand. On 26 June 1962, the construction was completed, and the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej granted royal consent for the King's royal insignia to be mounted on the front wall of the main shrine. (don't play play ok!)

Even though the temple is not huge, the architecture is pretty lavish. Many of the ornaments within the buildings are inlaid with gold leaves (yes, the real gold leaves✨). A few deities are enshrined here, such as the Maitreya Buddha, Laughing Buddha, Guan Yin, Four-Faced Buddha, and more.

Chetawan Buddhist Temple can be pretty crowded during the Wesak Day celebration, as it is one of the Klang Valley residents’ favourite choices of a temple to visit. On this holy day (holi-day, geddit??), devotees can make donations, ring the 🔔bells and bathe the Buddha. Parking is free within the temple grounds, but as many devotees flock to the temple on Wesak Day, empty slots are not available at all times.

⏰Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm
📞Phone: 03-7955 2443
📍Address: No.24, Jalan Pantai 9/7, Seksyen 10 Petaling Jaya, 46000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor


Buddhist Maha Vihara

Buddhist Maha Vihara is the second Sinhalese Buddhist temple in Malaysia, and it was established in 1895. However, the first structure was only completed in the first decade of the 20th century due to some social issues. This temple is more than a century old and is under the administration of Sāsana Abhiwurdhi Wardhana Society (SAWS).

Some of the interesting features in this temple include the lotus fountain, the moonstone, the main shrine room and many other Buddha statues. Overall it is a pretty large temple complex with a spacious yard. The temple is also easily accessible from KL’s largest transit hub, KL Sentral.

This is undoubtedly the most popular and happening venue for Wesak Day in Klang Valley and one of the most happening ones in Malaysia! The celebration at this temple is held on a large scale and often covered by local 📰news as it is usually very grand and crowded with devotees. The night procession is the highlight of the Wesak Day celebration at the Buddhist Maha Vihara. The procession starts at around 7pm and everyone is welcomed to join the procession by walking with a candle in hand. Floats of various designs from different Buddhist associations, decorated with flowers and colourful LED lights will depart from the temple for a 12km parade. The 4-hour long procession takes the route of Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Bukit Bintang area and Jalan Pudu before coming back to the temple.

⏰Operating Hours: 8am - 2pm, 5pm - 9pm
📞Phone: 03-2274 1141
💻Website: https://buddhistmahavihara.org/
📍Address: 123, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur


Buddha Jayanti Temple

The Buddha Jayanti Temple was completed in 1957. (Wow! the same year when our country became independent) As a Thai Buddhist Temple, the Thai architecture is prevalent, from the roof to the altars. The hexagon-shaped main building is guarded by a pair of golden mythical creatures that resemble lions called Qilin. There are Buddha statues inside and outside of the temple building where you can offer incense and 🙏prayers.

This humble temple in Pudu is surprisingly lively during Wesak Day as a long queue that leads to bathing the Buddha can be spotted from the entrance. Free meals are offered at the back of the temple to anyone who visits. Devotees can also purchase kits which include a robe, 💊OTC medicines (like paracetamol, antacid, etc) and some other daily necessities in the temple and donate them to the monks. On this day, devotees can seek blessings from the monk by being sprinkled with 💦holy water.

Parking can be a headache on this day as the temple compound is not large enough for any 🚗car to park in it. So visitors would have to park at the roadsides and walk to the temple. Overall it is a decent temple that is not overly fancy that offers a place for devotees to pray and receive blessings.

📧E-mail: [email protected]
📍Address: 123, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur


Seck Kia Ench Temple

Monk walking together on the street

The shrine hall for this temple was erected in 1938, making it almost a century old. In 1922, about 16 years before the Seck Kia Ench Temple was erected, a bronze Buddha statue was personally brought to Malacca from Rangoon (today Yangon), Burma (today Myanmar) by Venerable P. Ratanatissa. It is now displayed in the main shrine hall. Over the years, the small wooden bungalow transformed into the building that you see today.

Aesthetic exterior of a temple
illuminated floats during the night

As one of the main temples in Melaka, it usually draws more than 3000 devotees to visit on Wesak Day. On the 🌛night of the festive day, there will be a float procession. The beautifully illuminated floats are a sight to behold. It is a night full of festivities as children ride on some of the floats while adults walk alongside them.

⏰Operating Hours: 8am - 4pm (Mon-Sat), 8am - 1pm (Sun)
📞Phone: 06-283 7440
📍Address: 57, Jalan Gajah Berang, Kampung Chetti, 75200 Melaka


Kechara Forest Retreat

Kechara Forest Retreat is a temple with a more modern approach to Buddhism. In fact, it is not just a temple. It is basically a retreat with a Tibetan Buddhist temple where you can rent accommodation to stay. The surrounding provides a tranquil environment and beautiful landscape for you to rest your minds and find inner peace. Besides that, there are activities like pets’ day out, pilgrimage, monthly Dorje Shugden Puja, and many more.

Tiny buddha statue in nature
Huge prayer room with a woman and buddha statue

This Wesak Day, Kechara Forest Retreat extends an invitation to the public to join them on the 15th of May from 9am to 5pm. The highlights in the programme include Special Wesak Prayers (Lama Chopa Tsok), Children’s Baptism, Car blessing, Animal Liberation and more. Over 1000 visitors are known to flock to this temple on Wesak Day. You shouldn’t miss it too.

⏰Operating Hours: 10am - 5pm
📞Phone: 09-221 5600
💻Website: https://www.kecharaforestretreat.com/
📍Address: 3189, Jalan Chamang, 28700 Bentong, Pahang


As Wesak Day is coming, you should head to your nearest Buddhist temple to experience the festivities. This holy day only comes once a year, so don’t miss the chance to join the celebration & parade at these 5 Buddhist temples in Malaysia.



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