Canadian Prime Minister Participating in Chinese New Year’s Eve Traditions at the Fo Guang Shan Temple of Toronto
As Chinese celebrate the Spring Festival around the world, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, visited the Toronto Fo Guang Shan in Mississauga on the afternoon of February 15, as he paid a New Year visit to everyone, participated in the ‘Prayer Ceremony for World Peace’, toured the Foguang Lunar New Year Fair, and personally experienced the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting and stamping.
Under the solemn sounds of the bell and drum, Prime Minister Trudeau, led by the Abbess, Ven. Yung Ku, entered the Main Shrine, and followed the Buddhist etiquette of offering incense to the Buddhas, he listened to the Prayer for World Peace, and the transfer of merit. Ven. Yung Ku then led the venerables and devotees in welcoming the Prime Minister, and said in her address that she feels very privileged and happy to have the Prime Minister visit the temple, during the New Year celebrations, and to have him participate in the Prayer Ceremony for World Peace, to offer New Year incense for the blessing of the people and the stability of the country.
Prime Minister Trudeau said that he has always wanted to visit the beautiful temple, and he is very happy to have came during Chinese New Year and wishes everyone a Happy New Year, and Gong Xi Fa Cai.
After the service ceremony, Prime Minister Trudeau also took a tour of the Foguang Lunar New Year Fair that was full of ‘Chinese’ flavour, he kindly greeted the public, the Buddha’s Light volunteers, while experiencing the various Chinese New Year cultural traditions, he paid special interest in the arts of paper cutting and stamping, among other traditions such as writing of couplets, Chinese knots, dragon and lion dance. Under the guidance of paper cutting master, Gao Huilan, the Prime Minister was able to create a paper cutting that displayed the intertwining of the Canadian Maple Leaf, a heart and the Chinese word, ‘Spring’, signifying the friendly exchange of cultures between the two countries during the ‘2018 Year of Chinese Canadian Travels’.
Accompanying the Prime Minister is the Member of Parliament of Markham-Thornhill, Mary Ng. The paper cutting of auspiciousness and ‘ping an’, wishing everyone an auspicious and blessed new year.