Although Buddha’s Birthday is widely celebrated all over the world, this year marks the first time this religious event is recognized by the government. The mayor of Toronto had officially proclaimed May 24th as Buddha Birthday Celebration day.

This year’s Buddha’s Birthday celebration took place on June 1st at Mississauga Celebration Square with the theme “praying for the happiness and peace of the people,” was jointly organized by Fo Guang Shan temple, Phap Van Vietnamese Buddhist Cultural Center of Ontario, and the Western Buddhist group. The program included more than thirteen performances with special appearances by Senator Ngô Thanh Hải, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney, mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion, many provincial and federal representatives, and participants from 32 temples of 10 different ethic communities.