The Buddhist Association of China on Wednesday held a celebration for Buddha's birthday at Beijing's Guangji Temple.
Buddha's birthday is celebrated by all major sects of Buddhism. Chinese Han Buddhism set April 8 of the lunar calendar as the birthday.
This is the sixth year that the association has held the celebration. Representatives from Buddhist communities nationwide participated, as well as ambassadors from countries including Cambodia, South Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Buddhist priests chanted in front of the Buddha statue and prayed for an early end to the pandemic, good fortune for people and peace of the world. Ambassadors and guests also poured sacred water on the statue, symbolizing the cleansing of dust and worries.
Before the anniversary, the Buddhist Association of China hosted an online meeting on Tuesday with Buddhist communities in the Lancang-Mekong region, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Master Yanjue, head of the Buddhist Association of China, said Buddhist communities in China and other countries in the region have forged a close friendship in recent years via multilateral exchanges and cooperation.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Buddhist communities have supported each other and prayed for relief, demonstrating the compassionate nature of Buddhists, he said.
On the anniversary of Buddha's birth, those meeting called for closer cooperation to address global challenges and maintain world peace. The Buddhist Association of China also will make further efforts to expand exchanges and international cooperation in fighting the pandemic and make contributions to regional and world peace, he added.