2019 New Year Celebration at IBC
Reported by: Rev. Dorapane Chandananda Thero
International Buddhist College celebrated the New Year on the eve of 31st December, 2018. As Buddhists, all the members in the College celebrated the New Year in Buddhist way. Everyone enjoyed together without consideration of their age, culture, tradition, position etc.
Everyone here in IBC celebrates the special day according to their own country culture. They celebrate it in many ways. Sometimes, the way New Year is being celebrated is greatly influenced by their society and culture. All members in IBC come from different countries. Our main purpose for the New Year celebration is to share happiness with each other in IBC family. In this event, we organized some events such as paying homage to the Triple Gem, preparing traditional food, exchanging gifts, playing traditional games etc.
Our new year program schedule is below:
6.50pm: Gathering at Ksitigarbha Classroom and Welcome speech
7.00pm: New Year speech
7.20pm: Chanting and Transference of Merits in three traditions
7.45pm: Gift Exchange and refreshment
9.00pm: Thanking speech
As we are Buddhists, we never forget to pay homage to the Triple Gem. We all gathered and chanted in three traditions: Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna to wish for the well-being and liberation of all sentient beings. It was a good opportunity to cultivate good qualities such as calmness, tolerance, loving kindness, peace etc in our mind. We prepared special and interesting food such as Thai, English, Chinese, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Indian, Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar and so forth. This event gave us an opportunity to learn how to arrange and share food with each other and to enjoy them with gratitude for all. It was also a good moment to share our happiness and friendship.
It was important for us to prepare the vegetarian food. It was a sign that we wish long life with happiness for all the sentient beings. Another interesting event was exchanging gifts. In this event, all IBC members gathered and enjoyed the joy of exchanging gifts. Everyone shared their own gifts with each others and at the same time, he or she received a gift from others. The Buddha reminded us saying that we get the result from what we have done and we harvest what we have sown (yādisaṃ vapate bījaṃ tādisaṃ harate phalaṃ). In this New Year celebration, we did not organize anything which are harmful to the others like fire-crackers or other kinds of fireworks. We also did not prepare any meat and alcoholic drinks in our meals. These were virtuous acts that would help saving and protecting the living beings, and it was also the practice of compassion in the path of dharma.