Lantern Festival: Fill our hearts with Buddha’s blessings and wisdom 
The Lantern Festival (元宵节) is a Chinese traditional festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, it also means the first full moon night of the lunar year. This day marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations and is also widely known as Chinese Valentine’s Day in some Asian countries namely China and Taiwan.

To celebrate the first full moon of the year, one of the most important customs for the Chinese is to have glutinous (sweet) rice balls (tang yuan) filled with red beans, sesame or peanut. They symbolise family reunion, happiness, harmony and good fortune in the new year, and they are usually eaten with the family. Households would also hang red-coloured lanterns to invoke good fortune.

There are a few legends about how the Lantern Festival came about. One of the most widely accepted versions traces back to Emperor Ming (58 – 75 AD), of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Noticing that it is customary for Buddhist monks to light lanterns in their temples on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month to honour the Buddha, Emperor Ming, who was a strong advocate of Buddhism set a decree that the palace, towns, streets, and all households should also light lanterns on this day every year. This practice lives on as today’s Lantern Festival.
The significance of lighting lanterns during the Lantern Festival is to pray for blessings and avoid disasters with the main intention of transmitting Buddhism to the world. In Buddhism, the lighting of a lantern symbolises wisdom, hope, and joy. Lighting lamps for the Buddha remind us to pursue wisdom and to remove greed, hatred, and delusion. 

In the “Tune of Brahma” Sutra Clarifying Karma, there are ten benefits of making light offerings:
1.    One becomes like the light in the world.
2.    One achieves the clairvoyance of the pure flesh eye (as a human).
3.    One achieves the devas’ eye.
4.    One receives the wisdom of knowing what is a virtue and what is a non-virtue.
5.    One is able to eliminate the darkness of ignorance, the concept of inherent existence.
6.    One receives the illumination of wisdom, even in samsara one never experiences darkness.
7.    One receives great enjoyment and wealth.
8.    One is reborn in the deva or human realms.
9.    One quickly becomes liberated.
10.    One quickly attains enlightenment.

This Lantern Festival, let us light the lamp before the Buddha. May the lamp of wisdom continue to burn brightly in our hearts and may the light eliminate darkness and ignorance for all sentient beings.     







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农历新年消灾祈福法会 (Chinese New Year Blessing Puja)
供天:农历正月初九 | 2023年1月30日 (星期一) | 早上6时至8时 | 大悲殿
消灾:农历正月十四 | 2023年2月4日 (星期六) | 早上10时起 | 大悲殿
补运:农历正月十五 | 2023年2月5日 (星期日) | 早上6时30分至下午1时30分 | 无相殿


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Dharma Q & A

Question: Doesn’t anger make us more powerful? Why isn’t anger beneficial?

Anger may give us a tremendous sense of power, but at the same time it undermines the happiness of ourselves and others. It has the power to burn down forests of positive potential. We generally consider something beneficial if it promotes happiness. But when we ask ourselves, “Am I happy when I’m angry?” the answer is undoubtedly no. We may feel a surge of physical energy due to physiological reasons, but emotionally, we feel miserable. Thus, from our own experience, we can see that anger does not promote happiness. 

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— Excerpted from Awaken Issue 55

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In our physical existence of duality, there are always two sides to everything. Nothing is inherently good or bad. It all depends on how we handle our circumstances to transcend adversities with hope and courage in our hearts, to grow and evolve in our life journeys.

─ Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng

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─ Thich Nhat Hanh
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