The Buddha Birth Day Festival returns to Brisbane for its 23rd birthday and kicking off the celebrations on Wednesday 3 April with the official Lighting of over 1,000 Red Chinese Lanterns hanging throughout the South Bank Parklands.
By the time the Festival begins on May 03, more than 2,500 Red Lanterns will light up the Parklands. With the inclusion of energy saving LED globes together with a range of other sustainable measures, the Festival is now recognised as the largest accredited Climate Friendly Event in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Red Chinese Lanterns date back to the early Han Dynasty (c. 205BC) and denote happiness, good fortune and the ability to ward off evil spirits. Traditionally Red Lanterns were hung above doors and in windows during periods of celebration. Since the Festival began in 1997, nearly 3 million visitors have basked in the glow of the Red Lanterns, embracing the rich and memorable cultural experience on offer.
Before the Lighting takes place a special Buddhist blessing is being held to purify the Lanterns and all those who enjoy their light. Venerable Chueh Shan, Abbess of the Fo Guang Shan Chung Tian Buddhist Temple, co-organiser of the Buddha Birth Day Festival, reflects that
“these Red Lanterns symbolise hope for the world and each small good action can make a difference. A single lantern allows one person to read but 2,500 lanterns can brighten up a whole Parklands”.
The Buddha Birth Day Festival is listed as one of the Iconic Events of Queensland and a Signature Event of Brisbane which commemorates Australia’s harmonious cultural diversity.
With 200,000 visitors, over 1,000 volunteers, 400 performers and 180 events, makes this event the largest annual commemoration of Buddha’s birthday in the world.
Lighting of the Lanterns:
Date: Wednesday April 03, 2019
Location: Arbor entrance next to the Wheel of Brisbane, South Bank Parklands
Time: 5.30pm – 6:00pm – Lanterns switched on at 6:00pm