Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival. Melbourne 2016
The free annual Buddha’s Day and Multicultural Festival is a not-for-profit festival, which promotes inclusiveness, cultural awareness, cultural understanding; and enhances community spirit and social harmony. The 2-day festival celebrates Buddha’s birthday and the diversity of our multicultural and multi-faith society through traditional Buddhist Ceremonies, arts, music, cultural performances, social and spiritual wellbeing lectures, world peace prayers, blessing ceremonies, children’s activities, vegetarian food and much more. The festival contributes to the arts, civic culture, interfaith dialogue and cultural dimensions of this great city. Recognised as a significant event in the Melbourne calendar by the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, its primary goals are:
To promote peace and harmony, respect and magnanimity, compassion and cultural awareness; and
To share the spirit of joy and happiness within the community and families.
The World Peace Blessing ceremony of the festival is one of the most auspicious events. Guests of honour and speakers include Lord Mayor of City of Melbourne, CEO of Federation Square, representatives from the Office of the Premier of Victoria and the Leader of the Opposition, Councillors of City of Melbourne and other municipalities, as well as a list of distinguished community leaders and guests. Celebrating its 21st anniversary, the festival attracts a crowd of over 85,000 over the 2-day celebration and continues to grow in popularity.
The festival is organised by Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and Buddha’s Light International Association of Victoria (BLIAV), a not-for-profit organisation, which engages in activities that are beneficial to society at large. The association places emphasis on education, culture, cultivation and service. As a non-governmental organisation (NGO), BLIA has been granted special consultative status by two major agencies of the United Nations, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and UN’s Department of Public Information (UNDPI).
This year’s theme is ‘Future and Hope’. It is through hope for the Earth and the people, that there will be a brighter future. This hope for the future of our Earth will come from nurturing our fragile environment, restoring a balance in humanity and providing compassion to the earth through recycling, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. The hope for sentient beings lies in restoring the balance in humanity through the ‘three acts of goodness’ (do good deeds, speak good words, think good thoughts), ‘four offerings’ (give others confidence, give others joy, give others convenience and give others service) and ‘five harmonies’ (self-serenity, family tranquility, peer respect, social harmony and world peace). We hope that each and every person will plant this seed of hope for a brighter and better future for all beings.