Joyfulness filled the entire shrine hall on the auspicious countdown night
Counting down at a monastery can also be so exciting & lively!
On New Year Eve's night, the heavy downpour did not dull the high spirits and excitement of those who were at BW Monastery for the light offering event. At half past ten, the main shrine hall was already packed with close to 800 people, from young to old, getting ready for the countdown to cross the new year. Smiles were seen on all faces. Led by the emcees, everyone earnestly waited in high spirits for the event to start at 23:00 hour.
The countdown event started off with a discourse given by deputy abbot of BW Monastery, Venerable Bensi, based on a story extracted from the Mahayana Compassionate Flower sutra on how the Western Trinity Buddhas continuously made aspiration and eventually gained enlightenment. He encouraged all of us to make pure great aspirations before the Buddha and spread blessings and love in the brand new and optimistic 2018.
Next, the participants hung up their written aspiration cards on to the ropes that connect our hearts with the buddhas and bodhissattvas. The pale yellow circular aspiration cards flickered on the ropes surrounding the main shrine hall and forming a sea of cards, sending wave after wave of well wishes to everyone.
When the screen displayed the clock counting down from 60 seconds to midnight, everyone waved their hands in the air and sang along with the music while their eyes remained focus on the clock, and counting down in unison - “ten, nine, eight….” When the bell rang, the management team of BW Monastery and the volunteers pulled their party poppers, and greetings of “Happy New Year” and well-wishes filled the entire main shrine hall.
The finale item for the night was the light offering. Puja sponsors followed Venerable Zuguang to the Hall of Jewel on fourth floor. Venerable Benwen supplicated for merits, and the sponsors with their family and friends went around arranged tables to light up the candles for the supplication ceremony. At the main shrine hall, Venerable Bensi led the public to joyfully light up the candles, pass on the light and supplicate good health and harmony for the family and world peace.
As you flip the first page of the 2018 calendar, with the sound of the bell travelled and lights passed on, all your wonderful well wishes shall continue to light up in every single day in this brand new year!