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Bathing the Buddha Festival and Triple Gem Refuge Ceremony
May 15, 2016

On May 15, Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple celebrated the Buddha’s birthday with a joint ceremony for new Buddhists. Principal monk Ven. Hui Hao commenced the day by leading over 350 devotees in religious prayer. Ven. Hui Hao then gave a Dharma talk about the Buddha’s journey from prince to ascetic monk, before obtaining enlightenment by discovering the truth of impermanence. Through diligent study of Buddhism, anyone can find the same truth, understanding the laws of karma, cause and effect to ensure a better future for the individual. Thus in conclusion, Ven. Hui Hao explained the profound importance of adoring the Buddha’s birth.

Next Ven. Hui Hao bathed a baby Buddha statue in the Three Palace Hall, which contains profound symbolism, respectfully bowing to the Buddha, purifying one’s body and mind, plus wishing for peace of body and soul. Afterward thousands of people followed Ven. Hui Hao in bathing the Buddha. Many were newcomers and non-Buddhists who took part in Buddhist worship for the very first time.

On the Westside of the Main Shrine, a special pool was setup for children to bath the Buddha. Students from Buddha Lights’ Buddhist School plus Hsi Lai Boy Scouts joined in the celebration. The youngest well wisher was a two month old baby girl.

Later in the afternoon, a group of 120 formally took Refuge in the Triple Gems - Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Ven. Hui Hao congratulated the new devotees, and explained the responsibility of developing correct knowledge and view in order to walk on the path to realize the truth.

Children and infants underwent the refuge ceremony with their parents’ blessing. The youngest were three and a half year old twins Briand and Aleen. Another seven year old and four year old named Elain took refuge with their mothers. Eight year old Olivia was joined by his grandmother. The oldest participant was an eighty-four year old grandfather in a wheelchair suffering from Alzheimer’s. He was accompanied by daughters who helped him bow and join palms before the Buddha in a solemn yet touching scene.


  • Principal monk Ven. Hui Hao leads the congregation in Bathing the Buddha Ceremony
  • Principal monk Ven. Hui Hao leads the congregation in Bathing the Buddha Ceremony
  • Principal monk Ven. Hui Hao leads the congregation in Bathing the Buddha Ceremony
  • Principal monk Ven. Hui Hao leads the congregation in Bathing the Buddha Ceremony
  • Endless waves of people bathing the Buddha.
  • Bathing the Buddha in kids section.
  • Bathing the Buddha in kids section.
  • Bathing the Buddha in kids section.
  • Triple Gem Refuge Ceremony
  • Triple Gem Refuge Ceremony