Bonnyrigg Temple prepares for the crowds

BY SHERY DEMIAN, Liverpool Champion, Jan 21, 2009

Bonnyrigg, Australia -- ABOUT 2000 worshippers and community members will be at the Australian Chinese Buddhist Society Temple in Bonnyrigg at midnight on Monday.

The secretary of the temple, Daniel Chan, said everyone will try to be the first to offer incense to Buddha on Chinese New Year's Day for good fortune and prosperity in the year ahead.

Mr Chan said Chinese New Year was one of the most important celebrations for Chinese people.

The temple will be open from 8pm on Sunday , New Year's Eve, with an array of traditional festivities such as lion dancing, cultural dancing, kung-fu, lucky red envelopes and fireworks at midnight. Celebrations will continue until about 1.30am on Monday. The temple will reopen at 9am with celebrations and performances re-enacted for those who missed out on Sunday and a free vegetarian buffet lunch.

The temple expects up to 10,000 visitors on the day, including the Blaxland MP Jason Clare.

Buddhist monks will be on hand to greet visitors and wish them luck for the new year. Buddhist worshippers will also give thanks and offer their respects to the gods on the day.

The temple, established 25 years ago, has celebrated new years for 20 years.

This will be the year of the ox the animal represents prosperity through courage and hard work.