Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year-End celebrations in Berlin

On 22nd December 20 people celebrated the winter solstice with a Dana-Day festival in 'Buddhistisches Tor', as the FWBO's centre in Berlin is known.

Amogharatna, the Centre's chairman, said "It was the first time, as far as I know, that we have had a decorated "Year's End tree" (as christmas trees were officially renamed in former East Germany) in the centre. The idea behind the celebration was to take some of the pre-Christian elements of Christmas, as well as positive ingredients of the Christian festival such as generosity, and set them in a Buddhist context. As well as meditation and puja the celebration included acknowledging our gratitude to others for what they have given us, a chance to express our hopes for the coming year and sharing presents around the tree. At the end we had a small feast of gingerbread and (non-alcoholic) punch. We hope the event will become a regular feature of our programme in the future."

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