Bathing the Buddha Arches

Since ancient times, Buddhists all over the world celebrate the birthday of Buddha by pouring fragrant water over the statue of the infant Buddha three times. This is a symbolic act to cleanse the body, speech and thoughts in order to purify our minds, eradicate anger, greed and ignorance and to cultivate merits and wisdom.

For the bathing ceremony, the altar is arranged as a flower garden, representing the Garden of Lumbini – the Buddha’s birthplace. In following with tradition, monks and nuns use a special ladle to pour fragrant water steeped with special herbs over the statue of the infant Buddha, which is then rinsed afterwards with purified water.

The universal message is that “it is easy to wash away physical dirt, but much more difficult to cleanse one’s inner impurity of greed, anger and ignorance”.

Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike are welcome to partake in this significant ritual which involves standing or kneeling in front of the baby Buddha with sincerity and pouring water over the shoulder three times by saying with each pour:

  • 1st wash: May I eliminate all evil thoughts

  • 2nd wash: May I cultivate good deeds

  • 3rd wash: May I help save all living beings

 According to historians, the tradition of bathing the Buddha dates back as far as the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280CE) in China.

In addition to the main Bathing Buddha Arches, several bathing stations will be conveniently placed around the Festival precinct to allow enough space for the crowds anticipated for this popular Festival activity..