There’s quite a few ceremonies every year at the Peace Pagoda and Buddhist temple in Willen, Milton Keynes. A few weeks ago I was at this year’s Peace Pagoda Ceremony, the 39th.
I didn’t get there in time for the chanting and praying, but after lunch I saw the cultural part of the events, with both Indian and Hungarian dancers, and a Chinese dragon dance. Here are some photos. (You can scroll the gallery sideways)
The next event at the Peace Pagoda will be the Hiroshima Day Ceremony, on Tuesday 6th August, from 7:30pm at the Peace Pagoda. At 8:15 in the morning on this day in 1944, the first atom bomb to be used against an enemy was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
The ceremony marks this event. At dusk, 200 peace lanterns, each with a lit candle will be floated out onto the lake. It’s a beautiful ceremony.
It takes some time to launch 200 lanterns. By the time the last few are carried out onto the water it will be dark, and the lanterns will be brightly glowing and drifting in the breeze towards the far side of the lake.
The lanterns have tissue paper sides. The paper is decorated with pictures and words of peace, and many of the tissue papers are decorated by local children.
If you would like your children to decorate the lantern paper, or even want to decorate some yourself, do call at the temple (it keeps office hours but with a long lunch break, seven days a week) and they will give you some cut to size tissue paper that can be decorated and returned, or you can do some right there. Hurry, because there’s not many days left to go!
The temple also needs help building the lanterns; you can go just there and help, until the day before, Monday 5th. No need to phone them first, just turn up at their opening hours.
But they will be very busy with other things this weekend (Sat 27th and Sun 28th July) so please do not go then. There’s a car park off Brickhill Street V10.
I might be there on Hiroshima Day but I’m not sure yet, because I have some family stuff coming up. But if you see me, do come and say hello. There’s a photo of me on my About page. I’ll probably be holding a Pentax camera. But remember, my beard’s longer now…