Buddha’s Birthday is a Buddhist festival that is celebrated in most of East Asia commemorating the birth of the Gautama Buddha, who was the founder of Buddhism.
According to Buddhist tradition Gautama Buddha was born around 563 BC in Lumbini (now Nepal) and raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilavastu.
Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, during April in the Gregorian calendar. It has been observed as a holiday in Hong Kong since Britain returned the rule of Hong Kong to China in 1997.
In Hong Kong, devotees of Buddha visit temples, especially the great Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island. The Po Lin Monastery is home to the world’s tallest, seated, bronze Buddha statue, which makes it a destination for followers and tourists alike.
The key ceremony during Buddha’s Birthday is the bathing of small statues of Buddha to honour the belief that, as a baby, Buddha’s body was sprayed with water from nine dragons.
Hong Kong however also holds other events on this holiday, well normally would, except of course most events have had to be cancelled at the moment due to the pandemic.
However this aside, you would also be able to enjoy the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, that has its origins in a ritual held to protect fishermen from pirates.
This festival lasts for seven days and includes, on Buddha’s Birthday, a parade of floats and musicians which is held on the neighbouring island of Cheung Chau.
On Lantau itself, apart from the major Po Lin celebrations, the island of course had its own more modern take on things, to mark Buddha’s Birthday.
Taking advantage of the public holiday and the beautiful weather conditions, many were drawn to enjoy the day at one of Lantau’s many stunning beaches, highlighted best by the scenes at Pui O beach.
With DJ Oz providing the ultimate beach chill season at the Treasure Island Beach Club, people relaxed and took on board the scenes of activity that could be seen across the bay.
Cooling swims, a touch of kayaking, beach runners, the adrenalin action of the kiteboarders and body boarders patiently waiting for the next wave, were the order of the day. This all kept the more sedate beach goers captivated, as they sipped on fresh coconuts and the odd cooling beer or two.
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