For many years, after adopting various practices, it has been standardized for my own practice to this schedule on Vesak's eve and actual day:
1. On Vesak's Eve at night, selected parts of the Paritta and Sutras are recited for about 2-3 hours at home
2. Taking up of the 8 Precepts at midnight of commencing Vesak Day and ends at midnight of next day.
3. On actual Vesak Day:
Morning: participate in an early morning Dharma Assembly in a Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Vihara
Mid Afternoon: Another round of bowing repentance and recitation at home
Evening: Join in a walking Vesak Road Procession (an estimated 10km worth of walking and the procession floats are from all participating Buddhist Traditions) starting from the Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist Maha Vihara into certain parts of the city and back to the Maha Vihara for a farewell blessing by the Vihara's Maha Thera. One is free to recite according to one's Tradition whilst participating in the walk.
A Chinese Buddhist Buddha Gatha
In Heavens above and all below, the Buddha, incomparable,
In Tenfold Directions' Lands, peerless is He,
All in this world, have I seen, without exception,
Nothing is parallel to the BuddhaBathing the Buddha Gatha
Now do I bathe all Tathagatas,
Adorned of Pure Wisdom, Storehouse of Merit and Virtue,
May sentient beings of five turbidities steer off defilement,
Together attain the Tathagata’s Pure Dharma Body.Dhajagga Paritta
To those recalling the Buddha supreme,
To those recalling the Dhamma sublime,
And to those recalling the Sangha,
No fear, no terror will make them quiver.http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ction.html
May the thrice sacred Vesak Day 2009 bring forth the blessings of the Triple Gem on all sentient beings!