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A day to promote peace and harmony
Buddha's Day and Multicultural Festival, to be held at Federation Square on Saturday 16th May to Sunday 17th May, celebrates Buddha's Birthday and multicultural diversity.
The Festival promotes inclusiveness, social harmony, cultural awareness, and understanding. Its primary goals are to promote peace and harmony, respect and kindness, compassion and cultural awareness, and to share the spirit of joy within the community and families.
Buddha's Day Purification Ceremony
This is the 20th year of the Festival and this year's theme is Hope and Future.
Hope for the Earth
Hope for the future of the Earth will come from nurturing the environment, restoring a balance in humanity, and providing compassion to the earth through sustainable and environmentally aware practices.
Hope for Sentient Beings Hope for the future of sentient beings will come from restoring the balance in humanity through the three acts of goodness - do good deeds, say kind words and think honourable thoughts.
The Festival will commence with the Annual World Peace Blessing Ceremony on Saturday 16th May, from 2pm to 3.30pm.
The Ceremony is a unique celebration that brings together all sentient beings of the world and promotes cooperation, cultural understanding, and harmony amongst all members of Victoria's diverse multi-faith and multicultural society. It will be conducted by the Chief Abbess Man Ko of Fo Guang Shan Australia and fellow Venerables of Fo Guang Shan Melbourne.
The celebration is opened by a traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance by the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne.
Following the ceremony, there will be a mass offering to the world from representatives of the diverse cultural backgrounds in Victoria. Dressed in splendid traditional costumes and accompanied by traditional Buddhist chanting by devotees of Fo Guang Shan, the representatives collectively symbolise the unity and harmony of humanity, together praying for world peace.
There will also be a special 'Welcome to Country' conducted by traditional land owners; as well as the deliverance of messages of well wishes from dignitaries.
The Festival will celebrate hope for the future through multicultural and multi-faith concerts, educational lectures, baby blessing ceremonies, meditation for body and mind, glorious cuisine and more!
Buddha's Day Bathing the Little Buddha
Participate in the tradition of Bathing the Little Buddha, a symbol of inner purification. Take part in the Evening Light Offering Ceremony which allows you to practice giving, express gratitude and respect. This ceremony symbolically represents how wisdom dispels ignorance and by offering a light to Buddha one also offers light to themselves.
Witness the magnificent Wishing Lanterns and join hundreds of others on Saturday 16th May, from 6.30pm to 7.30pm to make a light offering to Buddha under the lanterns.
Try delicious Asian vegetarian dishes and participate in cooking demonstrations! Buddhists choose to become vegetarian out of respect for all life and to observe the First Buddhist Precept of no killing. Vegetarianism is also consistent with the Buddhist concepts of interrelatedness and rebirth. It ensures the sustainability of mother Earth and the health of the human race.