Skip to main content

Oriental museum

Our Oriental Museum will be hosting its annual Buddha’s Birthday celebration on Sunday 15 May from 12-4pm.

Buddha’s Birthday, also known as Vesak, is celebrated around the world and commemorates the birth of Buddha in around 563 BCE (Before the Common Era).

Lots of fun activities planned

The Museum will be decorated in spectacular style with paper cranes and white lanterns and will provide lots of activities suitable for the whole family.

The day will include art and craft activities, a gallery trail and storytelling for children.

Buddhist practitioners will offer a guided meditation and a Buddhist-inspired Japanese chirgiri-e paper collage workshop.

Visitors will have the opportunity to pour flower-scented water over a statue of the infant Buddha, symbolising the cleansing of body, speech and thoughts.

Join the celebration

The event is free of charge and suitable for all.

Many of our students and Buddhist community volunteers are helping to deliver the event this year.

Buddha was born as a prince and later went on to renounce his privileged royal life and become a holy man, ultimately reaching Enlightenment. 

Buddha’s Birthday is celebrated by different schools of Buddhism over April-May each year.

The statue of the infant Buddha used for Buddha bathing at the Oriental Museum was donated by the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order in Taiwan and the celebrations in Durham are timed to coincide with those in Taiwan in recognition of their gift.

Find out more