The birth of the Buddha is being celebrated today in most East Asian countries and wherever those communities are gathered abroad.
One such community in Queensland, Australia, claims to hold the “largest annual Buddhist Birth Day Festival in the world,” in a free event that spanned three days this past weekend.
In South Korea, President Park Geun-hye used the occasion at the Jogye Order’s main temple in Seoul to offer another public apology for the recent ferry disaster that claimed hundreds of lives. The Korea Herald reported President Park as saying, “‘I ask for your support to correct deep-rooted irregularities and evils, and establish justice in our society, following the teachings of Buddha,’” and that she “prayed with leading Buddhist leaders during the ceremony.”
Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post cautioned those who would strive to accumulate good karma on this day with the popular practice of releasing fish back into the sea to be mindful that they not be alien species. A spokesman for Green Power, a local environmental group, said that “by picking the wrong creature, the believers could do more harm than good to the habitat.”