Monday, May 7, 2012


Buddha Birth Day Festival
(known as "Vesākha/Vesak Day" in Singapore)
is a three-day event at Southbank Parklands
celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Śākyamuni Buddha, the Founder of Buddhism.

The Buddha,
a crown prince (Siddhārtha Gautama) in Northern India, lived from 563BC to 483BC
During the birth celebrations, the hermit seer Asita journeyed from his mountain abode and announced that the child would either become a great king (chakravartin) or a great holy man.

Legend has it that at his birth nine heavenly dragons appeared and emitted the purest water to cleanse the newly born Prince. The baby Prince immediately took seven steps, at each of which a lotus flower sprang from beneath his feet. With one hand pointing towards the sky and the other towards the ground, he said,
"Heaven above and earth beneath, I am the Honoured One, the One who liberates all who suffer in the Three Realms."

Guanyin (aka Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva)
commonly known as the Goddess of Mercy

Mi Le  (aka Maitreya Bodhisattva)
 is foretold as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology

Di Zang (aka Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva)
known for his vow to take responsibility for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds between the death of Gautama (Sakyamuni) Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha

Lion Dance Performance

Our very own  Singaporean martial arts talent, Ken Tan
Sonny performing the Drunken Fist (aka 醉拳)
Zui Quan is a category of techniques, forms and fighting philosophy that appear to imitate a drunkard's movements. The postures are created by momentum and weight of the body, and imitation is generally through staggering and certain type of fluidity in the movements.

Puja Ceremony

Light Offering
as a symbol of enlightenment and wisdom illuminating the darkness of ignorance

Flower Offering
as a symbol of aspiration to achieve the body of the Buddha with the thirty-two marks of the Buddha as well as the teaching of impermanence

Food Offering
as a symbol of nectar of Dharma and the wish to achieve it

Incense Offering
as a symbol of morality

Abbott paying homage to the Buddha
and chanting in praise of the holy triple gem:
The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings), and The Sangha (his disciples)

Bathing the baby Buddha
as a symbol of inner purification

Thai Buddhist Monks chanting prayers

watch Morning Prayers video here

Sri Lankan Horse Dance

Kids performing Hand Signs


watch Performances video here

Vegetarian Lunch
Devotees are enjoined to make a special effort to refrain from killing of any kind. They are encouraged to partake of vegetarian food for the day.
We had vegetarian beef noodles, laksa and herbal soup

Ralph's wedding

Spotted: David Forde

My mate, Chris Harvey

Chinese Yo-yo (aka 扯鈴)
is a toy from China consisting of two equally-sized discs connected with a long axle

Chinese Calligraphy (aka 書法)

Chinese Painting (aka 水墨画)
I used to do all these as an elementary school kid with Chew Sze Tat
We always end up painting/writing on each other's uniform
and getting reprimanded by our parents when we got home

Half Chess (aka 半棋/暗棋/盲棋)
The 32 pieces are shuffled and randomly allocated face-down to squares on the board.

Face Painting

Teaching kids to Recycle throught games, song and dance

Kids Percussion

Opening Ceremony
Queensland Premiere, Campbell Newman

Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk

Angela Owen-Taylor and Steven Huang

Kirralee and Hussain

Rachel and friends

Umbrella Dance
(above) Jill Wang

Abott giving an opening prayer session

watch Opening Ceremony video here

Emcees for the event

Kungfu Kids Performance

Techno Prince Nezha (aka 電音三太子)
is a Taoist protection deity, originally of Chinese Buddhist mythology. His official Taoist name is "Marshal of the Central Altar" (中壇元帥). He was then given the title "Third Lotus Prince" (莲花三太子) after he became a deity.

Handkerchief Dance

Scottish Highland Dance

Fan Dance

Kids Chinese Dance

Kungfu Performance

Wushu Performance
Gee Kwok displaying some fist actions

Chinese Weapons Display
Check out Ken Tan bouncing on his ass while swinging his Chain Whip (I reckon is the Nine Section Whip 九節鞭)

Angela performing the Hook Sword (aka 鈎)
She could link the pair and wield it as a single long, as seen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Justin performing Chinese Stick Fighting

watch Lion Dance and Martial Arts Performance video here

Sichuan Face Changing (變臉)
The face changing, or "bian lian" in Chinese, is an important aspect of Chinese Sichuan opera. Performers wave their arms and twist their heads, and their painted masks change repeatedly.

This one has an Australian flag mask!

Chinese Variety Arts (aka 雜技藝術)
(above) 楊益全

Celebrating Vesākha also means making special efforts to bring happiness to the unfortunate like the aged, the handicapped and the sick.

more photos here
[DAY 2]
[DAY 3]

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