Vesak Day was celebrated on Sunday, May 7 at the temple in Virginia Beach. Several hundred sangha members, their guests and visitors attended the festival hosted by the Venerable Monks of Dong Hung Temple. For more pictures and more pictures
The temple Abbot, Ven. Thich Chuc Hoi, presided over the celebration. The traditional ceremonies included the bathing of the Baby Buddha, Refuge and culminated with the Offering to the Hungry Ghosts. The Dong Hung Youth Organization played an active role throughout the day. Entertainment was provided by local Vietnamese singers, Thanh Tu, Thanh Quang, as well as a solo by Narissa Bond. Delicious Vietnamese cuisine was served and enjoyed by all.
Take some time to view the gallery of pictures from the event. The photos capture the essence of the range of feelings and emotions experienced by the participants from the solemn to the fun.
By Aryan Mark
Vesak Day this year celebrated the 2561st birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the festivities at Dong Hung Temple, on May 7, were filled with great joy and camaraderie. Crowds of people gathered across generations, religious backgrounds, nationalities, and languages. This created a day where our common humanity was ever present, and brought us all together for song, food, and laughter.
The Dong Hung Youth Association started the day by presenting flowers in colorful procession to the image of the baby Buddha, and by singing a song they had learned in Vietnamese. Their singing was followed in turn by more songs of kindness, and compassion from the beautiful voices of Thanh Tu, in Vietnamese, and of Narissa Bond, in English. This multicultural flavor was carried even further as our own Venerable Monks offered chants in the Pali language, and the English language sangha chanted a well known Sutra in English. All of this musical inspiration prepared us for the ceremonial bathing of the Baby Buddha, where those who wished could mindfully pour a ladle of water over the statue of the babe in gratitude for the teachings he grew to offer us.
Activities around noon focused on food. It started with the cutting of the three tiered birthday cake, and the feasting on absolutely delicious vegetarian Vietnamese food prepared by the Vietnamese sanhga members. Many thanks to the cooks and bottle washers. And then of course was the eating of the delicate and fresh tasting cake.
In the afternoon, lively entertainment outside was balanced with ceremony inside. Five Vietnamese and five English sangha members took Refuge together in the Three Jewels and Vowed the Five Precepts. And as the day was coming to a close, the final ceremony was of Chanting and Offerings made in compassion to and for the Hungry Ghosts.
The day was balanced also between outdoor activities under the blue cloud spotted sky, and indoors in the beauty of our flower studded Buddha Hall. Laughter, friends, music and food all made for a fully splendid day.For those of you who were there, we are glad you could make it. For those who missed, we hope you can join us next year.
In Well Being, Happiness, and Peace.
A Di Da Phat
By Ruth Peele