Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Buddha's Birthday Celebration

May 7th was the Worldwide Celebration of the Buddha's birthday. The  day celebrated the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, founder of the religion and Buddha himself. In China, Buddhists celebrate this day at temples by literally bathing the Buddha, reciting sutras and lighting incense.

 The Guang Ming Temple, (6555 Hoffner Ave Orlando, FL 32822), had a day long celebration. As soon as I arrived I sat down to capture this group of drummers in front of the temple. Behind me people were crowded under the food tents and before I left I made sure to sample the food available. The festival began with a beautiful ceremony, and was followed by the bathing of the Buddha’s and a large food festival.

A pristine Buddha sat next to the drummers looking out at the crowd. With his many drums the energy in the crowd grew. The Orlando Taiko Dojo demonstrated the traditional art of Japanese drums known as “Taiko”. Taiko drums were used in battlefields and have been used in religious ceremonies and festivals for over 2000 years in Japan.

The troupe’s dynamic style emphasizes speed, fluidity and power that are combined with their choreographed motions to create a performance rich in sight and sound. I do believe I have sketched this Dojo group before at Dragon boat races, and I love the energy.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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