Waisak – The day when Buddhists celebrate the birth of Siddhartha, the moment Siddhartha became Buddha and the death of Buddha. All 3 events carefully bundled together and celebrated in true Buddhist style.
This was always going to be a tough celebration to shoot. The main event of the day is a pilgrimage from the monastery to the massive temple complex in the centre of Borobudur here in Java. Pilgrimages and processions are always difficult to shoot as they tend to pull a rather large crowd of onlookers. With this in mind I arrived a week before auspicious day to do as much research as possible, hunting down exact locations and picking my angles for potential shots was pretty straight forward. However I was unable to find a single monk until the day before the celebrations began, I wanted to confirm a few things about my research but I couldn´t find any one. It turns out that although Borobudur is the site of the largest Buddhist temple in the world there are only a small handful of monks who live in the area.
For Waisak monks arrive from all over Asia to celebrate at Borobudur, I´ve known this for months, it´s just I expected a there to be a fair few monks living in the 3 monasteries that surround the temples – it goes to show that you can never do enough research .