The launch features dance, song and traditional Buddhist ceremonies from the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, the National Boys Choir and Venerables of Fo Guang Shan. The Opening Ceremony will also launch the digital animation of the Bodhi Tree Mural. New to 2022, this five-story high mural depicts the sacred fig tree under which the Buddha sat when he attained Enlightenment. This sky-high mural has been painted by internationally-renowned Melbourne mural artist Mike Makatron. The Bodhi Tree comes alive with digital animations created by the team of Artists in Motion, providing the illusion of the tree experiencing a range of weather elements, symbolically representing the hardships and challenges the Prince experienced while in his meditative state to reach Enlightenment and become Buddha.
Look out for the Wishing Tree nearby where you can contribute messages of hope which will appear as leaves budding and growing on the Wishing Tree and able to be seen by a global audience, thanks to the skilful digital artistry of S1T2.
A diverse range of cultures will be showcasing song, dance, choral and orchestral performances that includes Indian, Thai, Chinese, Bulgarian, Italian, African, Spanish, Scottish, Venezuelan, Brazilian and Mexican cultures. If you'd rather engage in contemplative prayer and mindful relaxation head to the Lumbini Garden of giant-sized statues and lotus flowers. For one of the most Instagrammable installations, it has to be the Lotus flower Sanctuary where 4 metre tall lotus flowers reach for the sky. Guided Ch'an meditation classes and walking meditation classes will be offered almost hourly throughout the festivities.
If you'd like to have your child aged 6 years and under blessed by the Venerable of Fo Guang Shan, you will need to register here for this sell-out event. This is a ticketed event. For those who are artistically inclined the Mindfulness Colouring Forest could be the gig for you. This is colouring-in on a large scale that allows you to meditate as you get lost in art. It's also an installation that promotes a meat free diet.
If you'd like to meditate in motion, Tai Chi could be the one for you. Learn and experience the techniques and benefits of these ancient practices on the day. You can then head to the Bathing the Buddha Arches for a symbolic act to cleanse the body, speech and thoughts in order to purify your mind, eradicate anger, greed and ignorance and to cultivate merits and wisdom. Meanwhile in the Children's Corner you'll find a multitude of entertainment for kids of all ages. There are Lion and Dragon Dance Workshops, Face Painting and Balloon Twisting. There's so much happening, be sure to take a good look at the website, plan your visit, and stay in touch via Facebook.