Buddha's Birthday Festival

Festival season has certainly begun, with nearly a dozen on Saturday, May 16, 2009, that tempted me. Feeling like something unusual and not too far away, I selected from my slate of possibilities the Buddha Birthday Celebration Festival held in San Francisco's Union Square. To avoid the downtown parking nightmare, I drove to the Daly City BART and rode it in.

It was a fun though small festival. There were perhaps two dozen booths, some selling items such as books, clothing, sunglasses, and jewelry, another providing carnival games, and others promoting groups such as the American tea culture association. Most of the booths used their income as fundraising for various Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) chapters.

I took pictures of what I ate and saw.

The food was a wide selection of entirely vegetarian food from China, Vietnam, and Korea. I ate well. Given the day's warmth, I finished my meal with a cooling shaved-ice dessert. It melted as fast as I could eat it.

The entertainment program was pretty good and varied. I took videos of two impressive performances: a lion dance and a ribbon-twirling dance. In addition, I watched kung fu dancing, folk dancing, and singing; the latter two included performances both by kids and by adults.

I stayed at the festival for 90 minutes, with much of that time watching the entertainment.

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