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Lotus Light’s Mother’s Day Event on May 11, 2024

On May 11, 2024, the members of Lotus Light Temple gathered at the Lotus Light Richmond Monastery to celebrate Buddha Shykymouni’s birthday and Mother’s Day. As the Golden Mother of the Jade Pond is the primary deity of Lotus Light Temple, this day of celebration is even more significant.  

The northern lights decorating the night sky on the eve of the day of celebration was seen by many members of the congregation as an auspicious blessing. The clouds on the morning of the event were remarkable as well, appearing like angelic winged spirits in a way.  

The weather was perfect for the outdoors barbeque party that Lotus Light had been preparing for in the several days leading up to the event. Reverend Lian Wen had been hard at work prepping the meats for the barbeque; marinating mackerel, pork chops, beef slices, etc. Those more physically able helped set up the tables, chairs, and canopies. Others planned various activities and performances to enliven the party.  

On event day, the reverends and volunteer helpers were up early to finish preparations for the day’s activities: the Golden Mother Fire Homa Ceremony, the Bathing Buddha Ritual to celebrate Buddha Shykymouni’s birthday, the stupa circumambulation, and the barbeque party. Many people attended the event to participate in this joyous and blessed occasion, even those who seldom join Lotus Light’s activities. Everything proceeded without a hitch, and the religious activities successfully came to an end near noon.  

Everyone soon began taking seats outside to enjoy the noonday sun, and the smell of grilling pork chops soon permeated the venue to whet everyone’s appetites. The pork chops and beef slices were excellently marinated, as expected of Reverend Lian Wen. While everyone was enjoying the grilled foods, trays of Chinese food from a certain restaurant arrived to add variety to the feast. Several courageous members sang to entertain the crowd – some acapella, some chose songs from the karaoke machine – and put everyone in a very cheerful mood. Various party games and activities were interspersed between the singing to allow the crowd to participate; even Master Lian Tzi jumped in at one point to dance around and frolic with the others, inspiring and stringing along most attendees to romp on the grass together as music played in the background. Master Lian Tzi also handed out Mother’s Day gifts to attendees, and had the recipients do a little dance or pose in return, which amused everyone involved. Near the end, there was also a huge green tea and red bean flavoured cake, which was very delicious. 

When the party started dying down, many people helped disassemble the canopies, clean the grills and dirty surfaces, and put the chairs and tables back in storage. It’s always heartwarming to see how many people are willing to stick around to help clean everything up after these events. After such an enjoyable day, everyone is surely looking towards the next large-scale party planned for the Golden Mother’s birthday on August 17th later this year. 

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