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Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival 2011

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by Vanessa ★ (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
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Federation Square will be alive with music, dance, culture and spirit during the annual two-day festivities of the 2011 Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival. Held on the weekend of May 14 and 15, 2011, this cultural and religious event celebrates 'Buddha's Birthday,' which is a traditional holiday in Mahayana Buddhism.

Buddha's Birthday' is celebrated in Nepal, India, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam and here in Melbourne, Australia, the annual festival is organised by Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and Buddha's Light International Association of Victoria (BLIA VIC).

This free event, will remarkably be in its 16th year in 2011. All are welcome to this celebration of the mind, body and spirit and there are many highlights in the two-day program including:

The 'Bodhi Tree', which is an art-installation created by Nick Rennie of Happy Finish Designs. 'Bodhi' is a Pāli and Sanskrit word, which translates into English as 'enlightenment' or 'awakening'. In this special meditative space, visitors are encouraged to add a leaf with a special message to a growing field. All are welcomed to this special site, which will be open on both Saturday 14th of May and Sunday 15th of May, from 10am to 5pm and is located at St Paul's Court, Federation Square.

The Tai Chi workshop, entitled 'The Art of Tai Chi' is another great addition to the program. This workshop will be presented by senior instructor of Tai Chi/Qi Gong and founder of Elixir Field, Mark Mayes. This event will take place on Sunday 15th of May at 12pm at The Wisdom Hall - BMW Edge.

If you have an interest in Tai Chi, it is also worth noting Federation Square regularly hosts free Tai Chi classes.

Another great highlight of the festival program is the Harmony Under One Sky performance stage. The 'Main Stage' at Federation Square, will be temporarily renamed the Harmony Under One Sky performance stage, a title which reflects the range of performers from different cultural backgrounds, expected to perform over the two-day event. Here you can view musicians, dancers and entertainers from Le Bop, Chinese Mu Lan Fan Centre, Rosita's Southern Flamenco Centre, Jhoom-Bollywood Dance Company and many more. View the schedule for both days here.

Alongside the various cultural events are a range of ceremonies, such as The Buddha's Day Purification Ceremony on Saturday 14th May at 11am, Annual Buddha's Day Baby Blessing Ceremony on Saturday 14th of May at 2pm and The World Peace Blessing Ceremony on Sunday 15th of May at 10am.

There is also a special workshop for children, entitled Share Tea with Me - Ch'an Tea Ceremony for Children, which is presented in conjunction with ArtPlay. Please note you will need to book in advance, in order to participate in this popular event. See the ArtPlay website for further information.

To keep up to date with the upcoming events, head to Buddha's Day Twitter.

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Why? All are welcome to this celebration of the mind, body and spirit!
When: 14-15 May, 2011
Where: Federation Sq, Melbourne
Cost: Free!
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