Thu, Aug 05, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Changhua's big Buddha set to radiate once more

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the well-known landmark Sakyamuni Buddha statue on Pakua Mountain featuring prominently, the Changhua County Government on Sunday launches the Big Buddha Culture Festival, hoping that it can help revitalize the central county's tourism industry after the success of the Flower Expo in the spring.

After renovating the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, which was built in 1961, the government focused on designing a festival with the displays and activities that would lure tourists back to this once-popular area.

For many people, the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha on Pakua Mountain is associated with childhood holidays or family excursions, Changhua County Commissioner Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) said during a news conference yesterday.

However, with an increasing number of scenic areas vying for attention in recent decades, the popularity of the statue has gradually faded over the years, Wong said.

"We hope that the public will come see the Buddha on Pakua Mountain that gave them so many happy memories," he said.

On Sunday evening, Wong will preside over a dedication ceremony at the opening of the festival. Just after 8pm, the 22m-high statue will be illuminated and accompanied by a laser show in the square in front of the statue.

The festival will also feature a display of 10,000 lanterns, a collection of Buddhist artifacts and old pictures of the statue collected from the public.

The festival continues until Aug. 15.

The county government is also cooperating with the Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp to organize the Taiwan Beer Festival, to be held at Changhua's Baseball Stadium on Aug. 14.

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