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2018 Xuedou Mountain Maitreya Festival attracts floods of visitors
2018-11-12Text Size: A A A

Spring of Xuedou Mountain

The Night of Xuedou Temple

Autumn of Xuedou Temple

A decade of moving on with gratitude

This is a mountain which stamps its name on the page of history for its thousand-year-old temple, a mountain which is crowned with eternal glory for eminent monks coming forward in multitudes, and a mountain that revives Buddhist rites with a giant Buddha.

On November 8th, 2018 Fenghua Xuedou Mountain Maitreya Festival will take place, and this famous mountain that has a history of a thousand years will embrace visitors from all corners of the country.

With a history of 1,700-odd years, the Xuedou Temple was established in Jin dynasty, developed in Tang dynasty, and prospered in Song dynasty. According to history, the temple has undergone five damages, and several times of revival. After so many vicissitudes, it embraced its rebirth in the 1985’s renovation.

The year 2018 is special for Xuedou Mountain as it marks the 10th anniversary for the completion of the world’s highest outdoor Maitreya statue in 2008. After that completion, the temple has embarked on a brand new developing period. Now, the annual festival makes to its 10th birthday, presenting cultural feast in Fenghua.

Over the past decade, Xuedou Mountain has participated in the “Famous Mountain Construction” campaign, which is included as an important project for making Ningbo a famous city. As a result of the participation, Xuedou embraces its best developing period. In China, the image of the Maitreya with a big smile and belly has gone beyond its religious color and become the avatar of wisdom. “Maitreya culture helps solve people’s mental worries and promote social harmony.

The Maitreya Festival, over its past ten-years course, has delved into Maitreya culture and reinterpreted it in a modern manner. The festival has become a new symbol for Fenghua as it spreads the Maitreya spirit of “with kindness comes harmony” to the world. 

All is done out of love. With love for Maitreya culture, Fenghua nurtured and developed Xuedou culture. In 1987, Zhao Puchu, the president of the Buddhist Association of China, commented that “Xuedou is the right place for developing Maitreya culture”, and that Xuedou Mountain was one of the famous five Buddhism mountains. After two decades, Xuedou has developed into the status of one of the five famous Buddhism mountains, and is widely recognized as the orthodox Maitreya place where Buddhist rites are performed.

According to leader from the organizing committee, the 2018 festival, featuring “Gratitude for the Past Decade”, is composed of five activities which will last for half a year, and is of higher quality with closing ceremony added. Events like Xuedou Buddhism Forum, and Buddhist exhibition are held by Ningbo People’s Government. This year, the festival is going to be a wonderful cultural feast and it also celebrates the second anniversary of Fenghua’s shift from a city to a district.

Maitreya Culture Construction in Mount Xuedou

On September 23, 2005, the National Bureau of Religious Affairs approved constructing a bronze statue of the Maitreya Buddha in the Mount Xuedou. This is the first open-air Buddha approved in China after the Regulations on the Administration of Religious Affairs. On November 8, 2008, the world’s largest sitting open-air Maitreya Buddha image was completed.

The Maitreya Cultural Festival has been successfully held for ten years with great influence. It has won several awards, such as National Festival Golden Finger Award, “Top Ten Cultural Festival Awards”, China’s Top Ten Brand Festivals, etc.

★In 2013, Chinese Maitreya stayed at the Chinese Temple in Nepal. It was the first time Maitreya culture went abroad. The following year, Nepal’s Tianguan Maitreya stayed at Xue Dou Temple.

★In 2015, the Chinese Maitreya “Antarctic charity trip”, lasted 24 days and traveled 5,400 kilometers, landed the Antarctic continent. It set the record for the most far-reaching Guinness record of Chinese Buddhist culture.

★In May 2015, Fenghua was named “Hometown of Chinese Maitreya Culture”. In September, the both sides of the Taiwan Straits base in Mount Xuedou was listed.

★In May 2016, Maitreya Altar, the landmark building of Mount Xuedou, beagn its foundation. 

★In October 2016, the 19th China-Korea-Japan Buddhist Friendship Exchange Conference was held in Mount Xuedou.

★In December 2016, the new campus of Zhejiang Buddhist College was completed and put into operation, and it is open to students nationwide.

★ In April 2017, King Sihamoni of Cambodia visited XueDou Temple.

★In November 2017, the advertising vedio of “The Five Famous Mountains of Chinese Buddhism—Mount Xuedou” was published in CCTV. So far, the news reports about Mount Xuedou have been seen in more than 100 media at home and abroad.

★In 2018, the Maitreya Culture Southeast Asia (Cambodia) trip and the “European Cihang” event were held.


2018 Mount Xuedou Maitreya Culture Festival Highlights

★ Opening Ceremony and the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Maitreya Buddha

On the evening of November 8  Xuedou Temple Longhua Square

★ Closing ceremony and symphony concert

On the evening of December 11   Ningbo Grand Theatre

★ Xuedoushan Global Think Tank Forum and 2018 China Open Forum

November 9

★Buddhist Culture Exhibition

From November 7th to November 11th, the Zhejiang Buddhist College held several activities, including industrial negotiation meeting, tea culture communication symposium and so on.

Four Highlights in the Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2018 Maitreya Festival, or the 10th anniversary of the completion of the giant Maitreya statue, will be held in Longhua Square of Xuedou Temple, presenting to the audience a grand and solemn event expressing gratitude.

Zen Spirit

With the help of fog and forest simulation devices, and lights, along with artistic performances like guqin (similar to zither), tea zceremony, and ikebana, an aroma of Zen spirit and the beautiful scenery of the mountain greet audience the moment they step into the square. 

Musical Feast

Different from previous practices of conventional gala, the ceremony presents a musical feast by adopting traditional musical instruments and poem recitation to connect performances of Sanskrit and other artists of Buddhist music.

Natural Stage

The ceremony casts away traditional stages and selects a poetic natural stage imitating the formation of the Qianzhang Rock in Xuedou Mountain. The poetic stage and aesthetic environment interwove with the performance, granting the audience the immersive experience in real nature.

Sanskrit Concert

Professional artists in Buddhist music have been invited to deliver the most authentic Sanskrit concert to the audience.

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