Chu Un Temple Celebrates Chinese New Year

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XIN NIAN KUAI LE!

2014’s Year of the Horse was celebrated with festivities, merry-making, and auspicious greetings in Chu Un Temple. The celebration began at eight in the evening on January 31’st, New Year’s eve. The crowd slowly began to gather as devotees of the temple, friends, curious onlookers, family, and old friends all decided to witness Chinese New Year. This event has actually been a tradition and a special treat for Cebuanos and that it certainly has been looked forward to every year and this time has garnered over a thousand people.

The opening ceremony was done by BLIA Cebu Chapter President, Susan Tan, with her welcome message inspired by the words of Ven. Master Hsing Yun’s – A Steady Steed Gallops into A Bright Future! FGS Deputy Abbess Ven. Yong Ling and Chu Un Temple officer in Charge Ven. You Lin were present and offered prayers and chanting to the Quan Yin Bodhisattva for a prosperous and joyous 2014!

Various activities enticed the crowd to participate. The most popular one was when everybody wrote their wishes and hung it on the wishing trees where FGS monastics would pray over them. There was also the lights offering which took the shape of a lotus flower which is a symbol of illumination and a bright future to the Buddhist and the Chinese. The fruits offering which also symbolized peace and harmony within the family was also a natural favorite.

Activity-7-b The kids who tagged along with their parents did not miss the horse back riding in the Chu Un Garden! This was such a rare treat that even adults wanted to take the horse back ride under the bright starlit night on New Years eve! To top it off, some of our Siddhartha friends participated by giving song numbers to serenade the guests.

There were also several cultural dance presentations from various schools like Cebu Eastern College, Sacred Heart School, and Child Link. An art exhibit featuring different collection of art pieces depicting the year of the horse was also showcased at the Di Zhang Shrine. Special thanks to our artists and art collectors, friends and devotees for loaning their prized collections.

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The usual vegetarian stalls, buddhists beads and mementos were also displayed for possible souvenirs and gifts to bring home to friends and loved ones. The dragon and horse dance moved the crowd to their feet as people animatedly followed the dragon steps around the temple!

Finally, when the clock was nearing the stroke of midnight, and just before the new year has finally come, there was the traditional prayers by the monastics and also the gong beating by Ven. Yong Ling and the sounds of the drums by Ven. You Lin!

There was a spectacular display of fireworks that wowed the crowd and perhaps the rest of the city who saw the night skies ablaze from the light that came from Chu Un Temple to mark the New Year! And just like in the previous years, people started to cue for their turn to hit the gong.

Fireworks It was indeed a great celebration of friends both old and new, family gatherings, and the meeting of faces, cultures, traditions, and beliefs… all making Chinese New Year at Chu Un Temple an astounding success!