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The following is the text of the Press Release for the 2001 International Vesak Festival


Thousands of Buddhist practitioners of all denominations will gather on Saturday, May 26, 2001, for the 15th annual International Vesak Day Festival.  Vesak, which is recognized by the United Nations as an International Holy Day, commemorates the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (passing away) of the Lord Buddha some 2,500 years ago.

The event is sponsored by the D.C. International Buddhist Committee, a not-for-profit organization with both lay and ordained members from a wide variety of  greater Washington Buddhist centers representing the various lineages and traditions of Burma, Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, the United States and Vietnam.

This year, the festival will be held at Wat Lao Buddhavong, 3043 Catlett Rd., Catlett, Virginia [tel: 540/788-4968].

The ecumenical morning service will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will include flower offerings, bestowing of precepts, recitation of the Heart Sutra of Transcendent Knowledge, short teachings and prayers from several traditions and a period of silent meditation.

After the offering of food to the ordained at 11:00, lay participants will partake of a buffet lunch of ethnic foods offered by the participating congregations.  

Performances of traditional music and dance from a variety of countries will be presented from 1:00 3:45 p.m.  All events are free of charge; rain or shine.


To download the program for the 2001 International Vesak Celebration, click here (Adobe PDF format) or here (Microsoft Word 2000 format). Here are some MS Word macros you'll need to print it in booklet form.

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