Nan Tien Temple throwing party for Buddha's birthday

The stars have aligned this year for a long weekend of religious celebrations for Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox communities and Buddhists alike.

Berkeley's Nan Tien Temple is throwing a party for Buddha's Birthday, running from Friday to Sunday. Exhibitions, arts and crafts, vegetarian food and birthday rituals will be on offer.

A multimedia art exhibition will also display the spread of Buddhism from India to China and historic celebrations, such as how the birthday was celebrated in medieval China. A purification ritual, open to the public, will take place in the main shrine.

Venerable Zhi Li said participants pour water over the left shoulder of a Buddha statue three times, to purify their body, speech and mind.

"It's the three acts of goodness," she said. "We teach the children to do good deeds, say good words and think good thoughts."

A Lumbini Garden has also been set up at the temple.

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