Festival Of Light 2014: Event to light up the sky

EXCITED: Dee Nissanke and chairman Ian Green. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

EXCITED: Dee Nissanke and chairman Ian Green. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

PICTURES: Check out our gallery from the 2013 Festival of Light 

THE 2014 Festival of Light kicks off at noon on Saturday - and it's sure to be a bright and colourful affair.

On Friday the performance troupes rehearsed and the organisers set-up the glorious lighting display, which will dramatically illuminate The Great Stupa of Universal Compassion.

The Great Stupa of Compassion research and business manager Dee Nissanke said the display would be a site to behold.

"It's going to look amazing," he said.

"It was beautiful last night - the colours came up really nicely."

Mr Nissanke said the three main performances on the night would include a dance by the Bendigo Chinese Association, music by the Golden City Pipe Band and a musical by a local dance group.

The latter performance will involve a 10-minute song, dance and acting routine that will tell the story of how Buddha was born.

"It's going to be really interesting," Mr Nissanke said of the musical.

Other entertainment on offer includes a live performance by a traditional Japanese guitar player, dances by a Karen cultural group and choral pieces by the Sing Australia choir.

In addition, there will be lantern-making workshops, a wishing well and wishing tree and a sand animation artist, who will also be running workshops.

Mr Nissanke said he was confident the festival would attract more visitors than last year's event, which saw 8000 people flock to the Great Stupa site in Myers Flat, where the festival takes place.

He said he advised people to get there early to ensure they get a park.

He said there would be a significant range of delicious vegetarian food on offer, which people would enjoy.

The day marks Buddha's birth, enlightenment and passing but Mr Nissanke said the festival was inclusive and attended by people of many cultures and religions.

"A lot of people want to come and see the show and enjoy food and have a good evening," he said.

The festival will run from noon until 7.30pm and it is free to attend.

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