Betty Tse

A member of the Whitehorse Interfaith Network and the Fo Guang Shan Er You Temple

Lunar New Year is traditionally a busy time for Box Hill’s Fo Guang Shan Er You Temple, a Taiwan-based order that practices humanistic Buddhism. Traditional temple celebrationsinclude three days of services,starting Lunar New Year’s, offering the first incense of the year.

“On the first and second day of Lunar New Year, we pay homage to One Thousand Buddhas,” Ms Tse said. “Everyone is welcome to participate in our dharma service at any time.”People start the year making their wishes by ringing the wishing bell. “The sounds are linking heaven and the ground – it is a kind of blessing,” Ms Tse said.

“Australia is a multicultural society, with many Chinese speaking people living in Box Hill and surrounding suburbs. “We are very fortunate to be able to celebrate this festival in atraditional way reflecting cultures from various Asian countries. We also want to help people understand Buddhism’s culture a little bit more.”

This year the temple will hold an art exhibition for a short time, showing one-stroke calligraphies from the monastery’s founder and artworks from the temple’s devotees in place of the usual festivities.