South Bank Parklands lights up every year for Buddha’s Birthday. This is one of my favourite events held in the area and it seems to be getting bigger every year. Chinese lanterns lined the walkways and performers entertained crowds at the main stage near the Wheel of Brisbane. The festival is a free multicultural celebration and offers a range of experiences for visitors.
The Buddha Birthday Festival ran over the weekend from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 May . The festival culminated in a massive fireworks display at 7pm on Sunday, which is when I timed my visit.
Early on in the evening a choir sang to the delight of parents and their children. Later on, local band The Mouldy Lovers played to the crowd. I wondered through dozens of markets stalls, offering a range of souvenirs. I picked up some ‘lucky’ bamboo in a glass vase, with the money going to a Buddhist temple. The atmosphere was relaxed and family-friendly.
There were a number of multicultural performances throughout the weekend. Including Lion Dances, Dragon Boat races and blessing rituals. A vegetarian food fare also offered a range of eating options. I stuffed myself with samosas, stir-fry and prawn crackers whilst watching the bands play.
Buddha’s Birthday is a public holiday celebrated by the majority of East Asian countries and is one of the most significant dates in the Buddhist calendar. If you didn’t get down to the Park Lands to see it, I would recommend marking it on your calendar for next year.