Dozens of Buddhists from around B.C. and Alberta gathered May 28 in Kelowna to celebrate Vesak, the Buddha’s birthday.
A ceremony was held at the Okanagan Buddhist Cultural Centre just after 11 a.m. filled with singing, chanting and monastic speakers, one of whom explained the importance of the celebration.
“This month in India, more than 26 centuries ago, a prince name Siddhartha was born. Today, we not only celebrate the birth of the Buddha, but we also celebrate that lightsman and the nirvana of the Buddha,” said the speaker.
The monk went on to explain that it doesn’t matter if it’s Buddha, Jesus Christ or other religious leaders – the message is all the same: “Avoid the bad, do the good.”
The ceremony concluded with the bathing of the infant Buddha statue in which fragrant water is poured over the statue three times to signify the desire of eliminating evil thoughts, cultivate good deeds and help save all living beings.
The event concluded with a Vietnamese lunch served to all attendees.