Animal farms and dragon races… get ready to celebrate Buddha’s Day multicultural festival in May

By Our Reporter

The much-loved, annual Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival returns to Federation Square on Saturday 18 May & Sunday 19 May with an explosion of culture, food, entertainment, lion dances, traditional Buddhist ceremonies, children’s activities and high speed dragon boat racing!

Presented by Fo Guang Shan Melbourne and BLIAV (Buddha’s Light International Association of Victoria), this major two-day festival encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to commemorate the birth of Buddha and to explore this year’s theme of “Faith and Legacy” within Melbourne’s multicultural and multifaith society.

Hawker-style food stalls will line the banks of the Yarra River offering mouth-watering vegetarian food as part of the Go Vege Food Fair. Street eats from across the globe will include Taiwanese rice noodles, artisan pizzas and donuts, exquisite Malaysian desserts, fragrant curries and more.

From African drumming, Spanish Flamenco dancing to Melbourne Gospel choirs, a kaleidoscope of multicultural performances will deliver non-stop music, song, dance and acrobatics performances across the weekend, whilst on Sunday morning, the spirit and power of the dragon will come alive as 12-metre long boats battle it out on the Yarra River to the beating of drums. Dragon boating is a fast, furious and thrilling team based paddling sport from ancient China.

Those seeking a slower pace can experience an array of mindfulness and meditation activities, including gentle Tai Chi, the ancient practice of sutra calligraphy and the quietude of tea meditation led by Taiwanese tea master, April Jin.

For the artistically minded, venture into our inaugural Mindfulness Forest to calm the spirit through mindfulness colouring, or craft an inspirational message of peace to be displayed on our interactive Bodhi Tree Field of Enlightenment Installation.

Those seeking spiritual enlightenment can participate in a multitude of traditional and well-loved Buddhist ceremonies, including Bathing the Buddha, a twilight candlelight offering held for World Peace, an interfaith ceremony and a baby and toddler blessing ceremony.

With over 40 events, including one of Melbourne’s largest animal farms, this festival is sure to engage the whole family and bring Melburnians together to celebrate diversity and belonging.

Event details: Buddha’s Day & Multicultural Festival, Saturday 18 May 10am–7pm, Sunday 19 May 10am–5pm, Visit:


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