Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinese New Year Traditions: Fo Guang Shan Temple

 Happy Lunar New Year!

Celebrated on the first moon of the Lunar Calendar, Chinese New Year is a time for family reunions and traditions. Check out my post from last year on superstitions some people follow for good fortune for the New Year.

My family celebrates Chinese New Year with a nice, big dinner and of course, distributing and receiving lucky money. With my Buddhist background, it’s also a tradition for my family to go to at least one temple if we can. We make this a mini family reunion, meeting others at the temple and catching up with one another. This year I was able to visit two temples, one on Chinese New Year eve and one on Chinese New Year morning.

Below are some pictures from the Fo Guang Shan Temple in Mississauga. The Fo Guang ShanTemple is a beautiful centre with traditional Chinese architecture and artwork. As you walk through the large red doors, you are greeted with a large shrine encompassing several statues. If you choose to go into this part of the building, be sure to remove your shoes for respect and be prepared for the subtle smells of the incenses. Upstairs houses a mini museum explaining the history and culture of Buddhism. In celebration of Chinese New Year, the basement acted as a night market with several vendors offering many goodies. We were able to learn to write Chinese calligraphy and try some delicious candied frozen fruit as well as shop for some cute knick-knacks. Even if you aren’t Buddhist, this place is still neat to check out.

Statues displayed in the main prayer hall of the Temple

Free calligraphy lessons hosted by the Temple

Roosters on display by one of many vendors

Candied Haws: frozen fruit dipped in pear syrup

When: Night of Chinese New Year Eve
 Regular Temple Hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 6pm

Where: Fo Guang Shan Temple: 6525 Millcreek Dr, Mississauga

Admission: Free 

Did you celebrate Chinese New Year? What did you do with your family?

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