Home » Australia » Melbourne community festival to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday

Melbourne community festival to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday

Multicultural Melbourne on display as it celebrates highlight of Buddhist calendar

Melbourne’s Federation Square is set to come alive on the weekend of 26 and 27 April, with a vibrant multicultural celebration and spectacle of activities celebrating the most significant event in the worldwide Buddhist calendar – Buddha’s Birthday.  Entry is free and all are welcome.

This will be the 18th Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival held in Melbourne, presented by Buddhist organisations Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and Buddha’s Light International Organisation of Victoria (BLIA VIC), and sponsored by City of Melbourne, Federation Square, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, and Community Ausvest Holdings.

This event is part of a series of Buddha’s Birthday celebrations held throughout Australia during April and May, and this year will include and exhibition of the Buddha’s Birthday Education Project.

Venerable Yung Wei of Fo Guang Shan explains, “The Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival aims to promote an inclusive, peaceful and harmonious society for all. We want to promote harmony, respect, peace and cultural awareness in our culturally diverse society; and to share joy and happiness within the community and among families.”

Federation Square will buzz with activities, market stands, and cultural performances. There will also be special activities and games for younger visitors, making this a unique introduction to Buddhism for kids and families, and offering an ideal family day out.

A key feature of the 2014 celebrations is the inclusion of the Buddha’s Birthday Education Project – a multimedia art exhibition and range of educational activities for families and all age groups, entitled ‘Through These Doors: Connecting Past and Present, East and West’.

The exhibition, based on the doctoral dissertation by Fo Guang Shan’s Venerable Dr Juewei, aims to promote the education and understanding of Buddhism. Visitors will learn about the spread of Buddhism from India to China, along with historic celebrations for the Buddha’s birthday, from medieval China.

“Everyone from academics and art lovers, to children and families wanting a culturally engaging and educational day out, will get something out of this multimedia exhibition and celebration,” explained Venerable Juewei.  “We want to engage every visitor, inspire a celebrative mood, and use modern technology mixed with genuine artefacts and local messages to help all visitors relive a period of exciting medieval Chinese history.”

CELEBRATION HIGHLIGHTS include:

Saturday 26 April (10am – 8pm)
Buddha’s Day Purification Ceremony
Annual World Peace Blessing Ceremony
Bathing the Little Buddha
Multicultural Multi-faith Concert
Taste of Asia – Vegetarian Food Fair
Dharma Talk – Lecture on Buddhism
Evening Light Offering Ceremony NEW

Sunday 27 April (10am – 5pm)
Interfaith Ceremony for Peace & Understanding
Baby Blessing Ceremony
Bathing the Little Buddha
Taste of Asia – Vegetarian Food Fair
Dharma Talk – Lecture on Buddhism

If you would like any information on any of this event please visit www.buddhaday.org.au or contact the BLIA Melbourne Office on (03) 9314 5147 or email bliav.melb@gmail.com.

About The Author

Nan Tien Institute (NTI) is Australia’s first tertiary institution grounded in Applied Buddhist wisdom and values, offering government accredited higher education programs including postgraduate Masters, Diploma and Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies and special interest subjects. Its’ tertiary education program commenced in 2011, and NTI already has a number of students who have graduated with a Masters, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate in Applied Buddhist Studies.

Currently, NTI operates from its Temple Campus at the award winning major tourist attraction, Nan Tien Temple – the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere – located in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

NTI is continuing to develop its range of postgraduate, undergraduate, single subjects, research programs and facilities, including:

· the recent launch of its Faculty of Health, with postgraduate Health and Social Wellbeing courses.
· the opening of NTI’s English Language Centre in Sydney’s CBD, during Semester 2, 2014.
· its new Tertiary Campus, Cultural Centre and Art Gallery is currently under construction and due to be completed in late 2014

NTI’s vision is to support and inspire learning and the pursuit of research and creative practice that provides the local region with a place for the exchange of culture and arts, and contributes to the advancement and integration of knowledge, culture and ethical understanding for the benefit of humanity in an increasingly complex and globally interdependent world.

It aims to be recognised internationally for its outstanding location, unique teaching program, world-renowned lecturers and researchers, and inspiring students.