When Buddha Meets the Gods

By Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

When Buddha Meets the Gods is an event held once every year at the Buddha Museum since its opening, in 2011. It takes place on 25 December. On this day, different deities and their representatives from around the country converge at the Buddha Museum. The procession starts from the outside, with each team of people and their sacred statue gradually filing into the Main Hall. They leave their statues on the offering table, and the statues are subsequently transferred to the spire of the Main Hall. These statues include bodhisattvas and Dharma protectors of Buddhism, as well as deities of Daoism, local folk religions, and even Catholicism. The participating temples or churches are not affiliated with Fo Guang Shan. On December 25, 2016, ten thousands of believers from 685 shrines, temples and churches brought with them 2,188 statues of deities to participate in the 2016 When Buddha Meets the Gods (Reunion of Religious Associations) event at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum. Two world records were created simultaneously, reaching a new milestone for religious cooperation, respect, and tolerance.

Multi-Religious Participants (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

The event begins when religious groups parade from the Main Gate, bringing with them the gods they worship.

Hanging Golden Medals (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

When the gods are brought to the Main Hall, Fo Guang Shan Head Abbot Most Venerable Hsin Bao puts on gold medals as a form of blessing.

Placing Deity Statues (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

When groups arrive at the top of the Main Hall, statues are placed in order according to where they come from, forming a majestic view of gods placed together.

Local Religious Parades (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

At the same time, religious groups are given the space and freedom to bring out their performances, known locally as Din Tao.

Din Tao Street Performance (2018-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Din Tao dancing merged with Chinese martial arts. Apart from the costumes, face painting is also an important factor since this is how each character is recognized.

Basilica del Santo Nino from the Philippines (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Santo Nino from the Philippines joins in the event every year

Offerings (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Offerings to the Buddha are placed at the Main Hall lobby

Reunion of Religions (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

After offerings are made, religious groups enter the Great Enlightenment Auditorium for an inter-faith dialogue.

Prayer Ceremony (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Religious groups gather at the Bodhi Wisdom Concourse to pray for world peace

Counting the Statues (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

On December 25th, 2016, the adjundicator from the World Records Association came to authenticate a new record - the gathering of 2188 gods.

A New Milestone (2016-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

A new milestone was set at the Buddha Museum in 2016 when the World Records Association announced a new world record - 2188 gods from 685 temples and religious centers worldwide.

A New World Record (2018-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

In 2018, a new record was set again, this time with 3478 gods from 768 temples and religious centers worldwide.

Flags of Religious Harmony (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

The Buddha bids farewell to all religious groups as the event comes to an end

End of event (2019-12-25) by Fo Guang Shan Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Religious groups wave goodbye to their fellow participants and visitors as they leave the Buddha Museum

When Buddha Meets the Gods (2015-12-25) by FGS Buddha MuseumFo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Here's a short film on a traveler's participation in When Buddha Meets the Gods
Enjoy!

Credits: Story

Association of Chinese Traditional Religions
Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps