Buddhists gather in Diamond Hill to give peace a chant

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 September, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 September, 1996, 12:00am

More than 60 high monks and 200 Buddhist followers will spend the next seven days and nights in Chi Lin nunnery to pray for world peace.

A purification ceremony was held yesterday in the nunnery in Diamond Hill to prepare the hall in which the faithful will spend the week.

The two-hour ceremony was led by mainland monks from Jiangsu and Fujian and attended by devoted Buddhists including Canto-pop singer Alan Tam Wing-lun.

The monks splashed 'holy water' around the hall, pursued by followers keen to catch droplets in the hope that they, too, would be purified.

Elaine Wan Yee-ling, spokesman for the nunnery, said the ceremony aimed to set free 'people and spirits on land, in air and on water'.

Ms Wan said the roots of the 1,400-year-old ceremony lay in the attempts of a Chinese king to atone for wrongs committed by his dead queen.

The ceremony will also mark the laying of a wooden pillar in the reconstructed main hall.