Multiculturalism has brought us, among other things, wonderful food. What took me to Tumbalong Park at Darling Harbour last weekend wasn't the food but Buddha's Birthday Festival. The food did play a part in my going because I was invited by vegan friends and the food stalls at the Festival had vegan food. But there was a lot more to the festival than food stalls. By the way, the festival is free, everyone is welcome and there are two days of events of all sorts.
Nan Tien Temple organises a Buddha's birthday Festival every year. If you live in or around Sydney you've probably seen, or even visited, Nan Tien's huge temple ("the biggest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere") on the hillside just south of Wollongong.
Buddha's actual birthday is celebrated around most of Asia on the eight day of the fourth lunar month, that is on April 8th although this year's Sydney festival was held on the 12th and 13th of May.
I'm not a Buddhist but a bit of a fellow-traveller. It would be hard to disagree with Buddhism's Three Acts of Goodness:
Do good deeds
Speak good words
Think good thoughts
(I'm a bit weak on the third one.)
So put it in your diary for next year and check your local listings. It's good family fun and a welcome break from eating meat pies. (Does anyone actually eat the old gravy-on-cardboard any more?)
|Some lovely singing ((in Chinese) from a talented young performer.|
|Irish dancing might seem out of place but the Festival welcomes many cultures|
|Bathing the Buddha|
To any of you who signed up for Selby, Emily Eyefinger and my fabulous, (free!) Newsletter: there's another issue coming very soon; just as soon as my cold lets me finish it. If you're a kid and you haven't signed up already, what are you waiting for????