The 2019 Australian Observance of the United Nations Day of Vesak, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of The Lord Buddha was held over two days, Friday May 3 and Saturday May 4, at Parliament House and Belmore Park, Sydney, respectively.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Day Of Vesak, an intimate gathering consisting of both ordained and lay Buddhist practitioners, along with members of state and local governments, and representatives from the United Nations, was held on Friday May 3 at Parliament House.
During the 9.30-11.30am event, there were meaningful and heartfelt speeches given by distinguished guests, as well as music performances, followed by late morning tea and snacks, and a chance to mingle. A lovely and enjoyable time was had by all in attendance.
On Saturday May 4, the public celebration was held from 9.30am to 12.30pm at Belmore Park in Sydney. The event was well attended by hundreds of enthusiastic and happy Buddhists and Non-Buddhists from around Sydney, and from around Australia, as well as some international guests.
The formal proceedings of this most auspicious event began at 10am with a warm welcome from the Buddhist Federation Of Australia, a formal procession and traditional Buddhist chanting in the Pali, Vietnamese and Tibetan languages, by representatives from the monastic communities of the three major Buddhist traditions of Theravada (School of the Elders), Mahayana (Great Vehicle) and Vajrayana (Diamond Vehicle).
Also included in the program was a wonderful guided meditation, which was warmly appreciated by all participants, and an insightful explanation on the significance and purpose of making offerings and accumulating merit, in every aspect of our lives, both individually and collectively.
The formal proceedings were rounded out with food offerings made to the monastic community, and a Bathing of the Baby Buddha Ceremony, as well as live music performances, and a delicious vegetarian lunch.
All in attendance had a wonderful time, with smiles all around. We look forward to next years celebration. May we all be well and happy.
By Dharma Teacher Andrew Williams