HONG KONG: 5 Aug, 2008 – Buddha’s Birthday Carnival (佛誕嘉年華) organised by Buddha’s Light International Association of Hong kong (國際佛光會香港協會) open at Victoria Park, Causeway Bay to celebrate the birthday of Lord Buddha.
According to legend, Prince Siddhatta who was then known as Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini Park, Kapilavatsu in Northern India on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month calendar.
At his birth nine dragons sprayed water to bathe the baby Buddha and seven lotus flowers sprung up beneath his feet as he walked – pointing one hand to the sky and ground, he said “in the heaven above and earth below, I vow to liberate all who suffer in these three realms (天上天下，唯我為尊)”.
Today, to commemorate the birth of the Buddha, the bather scoops up water from the ceremonial basin and carefully sprinkles water onto the head and shoulders of the baby Buddha statue, making sure that none spills out of the basin. This action also reminds people to use Buddhism’s teachings to cleanse their minds and bodies.
It has become a public holiday in Hong Kong since 1999.