For its 23rd year, the annual Buddha Birth Day Festival transformed the South Bank Parklands into a sea of culture, faith and legacy from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 May. With more than 200,000 visitors coming to celebrate Australia’s multicultural diversity, Brisbane has been recognised as the location of the largest celebration of this festival in the world. It lived up to the hype as visitors enjoyed the three-day showcase of different religious and cultural experiences. An inclusive and relaxed environment was promoted with a variety of performances, activities, cultural customs, and vegetarian alternatives on display.

Due to the festival’s enormity, the 180 events were spread across 13 locations through the Parklands areas, creating six villages. Whether trying to seek knowledge, find inner peace, or embrace the diverse cultural heritage of the world, these six areas catered to its audiences. A stroll along the Path of Wisdom took attendees past these villages, exposing them to activities such as outdoor meditation, Buddhist talks and purifying ceremonies.

Queensland Minister for Multicultural Affairs Stirling Hinchcliffe praised the wonderful and hope-filled event, which has become a signature event on Queensland’s calendar. “There should be no greater aspiration for all of us than to live in a world that is united, harmonious, respectful, inclusive and above all, peaceful,” said Hinchcliffe. “An event like this not only offers an opportunity to reflect on what more can be done to achieve this goal, it also allows us the chance to celebrate what we are doing right.”

As the festival concluded with a fireworks spectacular which lit up the Brisbane River on the final evening, it was clear this celebration of culture was important for the community. This promotion of an inclusive and harmonious community is what Queensland embodies, building community confidence and resilience among different cultures.

If you enjoyed this, please read our story on the Fish Lane Festival.