Monday, May 30, 2011

The Buddha's Birthday Festival

7 May 2011 (Sat):
My mother caught a glimpse of a statue of a Buddha while we were on the tour bus. I vaguely recalled it was located at Darling Harbour. When she spoke of her intentions to take a look at the Buddha statue during dinner and asked the staff of Supermeal Chinese Restaurant for directions to get there. I guessed that it would be a good idea to bring her there even though it was not part of our initial plans.

On our way there, my dear mother had almost wanted to head for the apartment instead perhaps because it was getting dark. On hindsight, I was thankful that I had insisted that we went to look for the statue of the Buddha.

We later learnt that the Buddha's Birthday Festival was being held at Darling Harbour area. This event was organised by the Fo Guang Shan Nan Tien Temple. This festival seems to be of similar significance as Vesak Day that is celebrated in my hometown of Singapore. The Buddha's Birthday Festival celebrates the timeless and universality of Buddha's teachings.

There was a firework display that night in conjunction with the celebration of the Buddha's Birthday. That was a pleasant surprise for us.

This was taken using the camera's "Fireworks" program.

The next day, my mother visited the Buddha's Birthday Festival again. There was a special blessing service in the morning followed by a Buddha's Bathing ritual. I have a feeling that my mother, who is more influenced by Buddhist teachings, might be counting her blessings when she visited the festival. It must have been great luck that she chanced upon the Buddha's Birthday Festival in a foreign land.

I suppose the lesson learnt here was to be open to the unexpected yet positive experiences?

All the photos on this post were taken using a Canon Digital IXUS 1000HS camera.

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