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Macao Buddhist Believers Take on Parade on Birthday of Sakyamuni

On the Birthday of Sakyamuni, the legendary founder of Buddhism, a festoon-vehicle parade accompanied by dragon dancers and Buddhist believers on Wednesday took to the street setting off from the downtown to the Coloane Island of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

To celebrate the birthday of Sakyamuni, all images of Buddha in temples throughout Macao were ceremonially washed Wednesday. An altar was set up in the downtown area for senior monks to preach Buddhist doctrines.

Buddhist legend goes that Sakyamuni was baptized by fragrant rains upon his birth on April 8th according to China's Lunar Calendar, which fell on May 26 this year. Buddhists usually marked the day by washing Buddhist statues and spreading Buddhist spirits in various celebrating activities.

The large parade sponsored by the Macao Buddhist Association and other social organizations is the largest Buddhist activity in Macao every year. Macao's Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah attended the celebration and prayed for the prosperity and peace of Macao.

Dragon dances mimicking the movement of drunk dragons, which are performed by local fishermen on the Birthday of Sakyamuni have over 100 years of history. Buddhist societies often distribute alms during the celebration.
(Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2004)

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