One of the most highly anticipated events on the Buddhist calendar is about to hit Brisbane!
The Parklands at South Bank is once again set to host the fantastic Buddha Birthday Festival.
Starting on Friday May 3, and finishing on Sunday May 5, this "vibrant multicultural celebration" will include something for everyone.
You and your family will have the opportunity to attend traditional ceremonies, including a Bodhi Tree Blessing Ceremony and a Bathing Buddha Ceremony, as well as get involved in many other exciting activities.
There will also be children's rides, arts and crafts, cultural performances, plenty of food and a fireworks display.
And, to top it all off, the entire event is absolutely free!
This is the largest annual Buddhist Birthday Festival in the world. We don't know how old Buddha's turning, but we can tell you that this will be the event's seventeenth anniversary.
"Whether you are a Buddhist who wants to come and celebrate and share the joy of Buddha's Birthday; someone who is interested in experiencing and learning more about Buddhism; or just want a great family day out that educates about a different culture, these celebrations will be a wonderful and enriching experience for you," says Chue Shan from Queensland's Chung Tian Temple.
In 1997, this event's inaugural year, around 5,000 people attended. By 2008, the number of participants had risen to 180,000.
The success of Brisbane's Buddhist Birthday Festival all comes down to the generous support of the community. Alongside the Brisbane City Council, a number of local businesses have volunteered to fund this event.
Buddhism is a big deal in Brisbane. The Buddhist Council of Queensland estimates that there are well over 40 Buddhist organisations in the region.
They have also stated that the Buddha Birthday Festival is Brisbane's "best-attended festival" – so you'd better get your car rental in Brisbane organised straight away!