Freelance writer with a BA double majoring in Literature and Australian History who loves finding random places of social or historical treasure whilst travelling around visiting festivals, markets and quaint cafes with my husband and baby
Baby Blessing Ceremonies & Giant Buddhas - it's all here
The Buddha Birth Day Festival at Southbank Parklands is an annual event honouring the birthday of Siddhartha Gautama, or the Buddha.
You do not need to be a Buddhist to enjoy this wonderful festival. Since 1999, the Buddha Birth Day Festival has attracted more than 200,000 visitors and this year will be its showcase year, being the 20th anniversary of the festival.
The gorgeous Buddha display in the Courier Mail Piazza - 2015 Buddha Birth Day Festival
There is a wonderful program of events over the 3 days which are held in the Courier Mail Piazza, the Performing Arts Stage and GOMA. On Friday evening enjoy the band performances and the welcome ceremony. The Courier Mail Piazza is taken over by Buddhist monks and nuns all dressed in the customary red, and the entire area is abuzz with colour, music and lanterns. It really is a wonder to behold.
Buddhist Baby Blessing Ceremony - A beautiful experience for the whole family
There is an interesting and varied program of events on Saturday but for me the highlight of the day is the Buddhist Baby Blessing Ceremony. My own daughter was involved in this ceremony last year and it was truly wonderful. Parents who wish to have their young children included in the blessing will need to pre-register here. Hundreds of parents and their babies are lined up, with their families and other onlookers watching, to receive a Buddhist prayer and then be blessed with water sprinkled over them by Buddhist monks. With the contemplative music, colour and ceremony most children seem to realise the depth of the occasion and just watch with solemn big eyes.
At lunchtime on Saturday there is dragon boat racing, a sight not to be missed.
Sunday offers the cultural harmony parade and the grand offering. The whole festival is finished with a multi-faith light offering ceremony and fireworks.
The festival is hosted by the Chung-Tian Buddhist Temple at Priestdale and they really do an amazing job in bringing the beauty of the occasion to the general public.
With so much to see and enjoy over the Buddha Birth Day Festival weekend, it's a lovely day out for the family. The entire of Southbank is decorated with beautiful lanterns and kids will love the different outlook and colour.
The full lineup of events over the three days can be found here.
Be sure to check out the giant Buddha, and display of lotus flowers, Buddhas and other colour items.
For anyone would like to volunteer or hold a stall at the festival, you can do so here.
The Buddha Birth Day Festival is on at the Southbank Parklands over the weekend of Friday 29 April through to Sunday 1 May. Get to Southbank by taking the train, bus or ferry. Check Translink for public transport times. Southbank also has undercover parking off Little Stanley Street, however on very busy weekends it does get full in high peak times such as midday.