National Recognition of a Religious Festival: Comparing Buddha’s Birthday Celebration Organized in Taipei to the Northern Wei Buddha’s Birthday Parade
Festivals make up a major feature of all religions1 and human societies. A festival means to most people a “special day or period, usually in memory of a religious event, with its own social activities, food and eremonies,” or an “organized set of special events, such as musical performances.” A religious festival presents a unique opportunity to gain insight into the confluence of religion, culture, and politics. Among Buddhist festivals, Buddha’s birthday stands out as the most popular and most public. When religious celebrations go outside the temple gates, it is an indication of wide acceptance of Buddhism by its host populace. In this paper, I shall compare two significant Buddha’s birthday celebrations: one in antiquity and one in recent times. These two circumstances are significant because the heads of state are conspicuously present outside their symbols of power and the entire capital city observed the occasion. By comparing large-scale commemoration of Buddha’s birthday celebrations held before the Office of the President in contemporary Taipei with a city-wide parade held in Luoyang during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534), this paper will identify the factors critical to indigenous Chinese people accepting major festivals of a foreign religion.
Ven. Juewei:〈National Recognition of a Religious Festival: Comparing Buddha’s Birthday Celebration Organized in Taipei to the Northern Wei Buddha’s Birthday Parade〉，收入妙凡、蔡孟樺主編 :《人間佛教》學報‧藝文第8期，高雄 :財團法人佛光山人間佛教研究院，2017年 03月，頁204-211。
高雄市大樹區興田里興田路 153 號