Buddha’s Day at Flat Bush attracts thousands

All roads in east Auckland led to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple in Flat Bush on April 7 and 8.

The popular two-day event celebrated Buddha’s Birthday Multicultural Festival for World Peace and attracted more than 8500 people who partook in a range of activities including a baby and children blessing ceremony, taking refuge in a triple gem and light offering ceremony and the fun Prince Siddhartha costume competition.

Other special attractions included art exhibitions, multi-cultural performances, free medical services, vegetarian food stalls, as well as cultural and community stalls.

Plenty of visitors from all over New Zealand were spotted participating in the tea mediation and bathing the Buddha ceremony.

With a change of government, the official ceremony on April 8 was attended this year by Minister of Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa as well as Bill Chen, a representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand.

Counties Manukau Police District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers, Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, along with other religious leaders, local politicians, community representatives and local school principals.

The Abbess of the temple, venerable Manshin expressed her gratitude to everyone present as she acknowledged the efforts of volunteers. She thanked the New Zealand Police and schools who work together with the temple to achieve positive outcomes for the community.