Date: May 10, 2016
Taiwan’s Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation held May 8 a series of ceremonies
worldwide celebrating Buddha’s birthday in conjunction with Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May, enabling believers to express gratitude for Buddha, parents and all sentient beings.
In the face of natural disasters around the globe—especially this year’s earthquakes in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City, Japan’s Kumamoto prefecture and Kyushu Island, as well as South American nation Ecuador—Prayer, Gratitude was selected as the theme of the ceremonies. A total of 450 sessions were attended by an estimated 270,000 worshippers in 35 countries and territories.
The first, led by founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen, took place early in the morning at Tzu Chi headquarters in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County. Among other venues hosting ceremonies was Liberty Square, the plaza abutting National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei City’s Zhongzheng District—home to the Office of the President, Republic of China (Taiwan), and numerous central government ministries.
President Ma Ying-jeou, Vice President Wu Den-yih and Legislative Yuan President Su Jia-chyuan were some of the many high-profile attendees at the event. In remarks made April 30 by Ma at Tzu Chi’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Hualien, Ma praised the group’s half century of selfless, consistent devotions to Taiwan society and the international community. [FULL STORY]