Originating from India, Buddhism is said to be the religion of about 300 million people worldwide.
Founded by Tsengdok Rinpoche, and organized by the BC Buddhist Festival Committee, the inaugural event will bring together over 20 Buddhist communities and thousands of attendees to promote ‘Vesak’ for world peace. Vesak is a holiday observed by Buddhists that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.
Serving to bring together Buddhists of all traditions, the full day event will be one of colour and spectacle, with nuns and monks assembled on stage to jointly pray for peace.
The BC Buddhist Festival at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Arena runs May 30 from 9:30am to 6:30pm and is suitable for all ages.
Serving to bring together Buddhists of all traditions, the full day event will be one of colour and spectacle, with nuns and monks assembled on stage to jointly pray for peace. There will also be a Buddha wishing tree, a Buddha bathing area, a display of rituals, customs, music, crafts and vegetarian food. Lotus lanterns will be made on site and for sale at the event, with 45 per cent of profits being donated.
“Charity and service are cornerstones of Buddhist life and we wanted to represent the birth, life and passing of Buddha’s life by ensuring 45 per cent of proceeds benefit BC Children’s Hospital and the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation’s Palliative Care Fund, because they serve the needs of people who come from all parts of the province,” says Rinpoche.
Another 45 per cent will go to participating Buddhist communities for ongoing development work, and 10 per cent will be retained for next year’s event. To end the day, there will be a walk for peace, with each participant holding a lotus lantern as they circulate the arena.
Coupon books of $20 will be available to purchase food and merchandise.
To learn more about the first ever BC Buddhist Festival, visit www.BCBuddhistFestival.com.
Published in Partnership with Asian Pacific Post.