The City of Sydney loves putting it’s best on for a big celebration. Every year at Christmas the lighting of the giant Christmas tree in Martin Place is a major family event while the City is festooned with banners and other decorations for much of the holiday period.
However it has often struck me as somewhat out of place that we put so much into celebrating a Christian festival whilst ignoring the myriad other vibrant cultures that exist within our city.
I was therefore more than happy to help when a group of Buddhist monks approached me asking for help in the staging of a Vesak (also known as Buddha’s Birthday) event. Vesak is a celebration of the first Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death and is held each year in May or June, according to the lunar calendar.
The monk’s were hoping to hold the event in Sydney Town Hall and after some negotiations with Council staff I managed to secure them the free use of the venue for this important community event.
The Vesak ceremony will be held in Town Hall on Sunday 29th of May and will feature traditional blessing’s and a music concert to celebrate the 2600th anniversary of the first Buddha’s enlightenment.
I am very pleased to see some of our City’s beautiful buildings put to use for events important to the many cultures that call Sydney home and hope to give many other groups similar opportunities in the future.