POSTED: Saturday, December 05, 2009

Buddhists to gather for Bodhi Day

A gathering of Hawaii Buddhists tomorrow will mark Bodhi Day, a historic event in the foundation of the religion.

The Hawaii Buddhist Council will sponsor a 9 a.m. service at Higashi Hongwanji Mission, 1685 Alaneo St.

Buddhists around the world celebrate Dec. 8 as Bodhi Day, marking the occasion 2,500 years ago when Shakyamuni Buddha achieved enlightenment. According to legend, the young Indian nobleman who founded the Buddhist philosophy was seated beneath a bo or bodhi tree when meditation led him to the state of perfect mental clarity.


KITV to show Damien documentary

The premiere broadcast of a one-hour documentary film on events in Belgium and Rome celebrating the canonization of Father Damien De Veuster will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday on KITV.

Reporter Pamela Young and cameraman Rex Von Arnswaldt accompanied 500 Hawaii pilgrims on the trip to Belgium, Damien's homeland, and to Rome, where Pope Benedict XVI declared Damien a saint on Oct. 11.

“;A Man Called Kamiano”; will be rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 7 p.m. Jan. 1.


5 from isles at religious congress

Five Oahu residents active in local interfaith events are attending the Congress of World Religions, which opened today in Melbourne, Australia.

Saleem Ahmed, who writes and lectures on Islam, and Maryknoll Sister Joan Chatfield will participate in a panel discussion about similarities shared by most religions.

Other local attendees are Cecilia Fordham, ecumenical officer with the Hawaii Episcopal Diocese; Bishop Randolph Sykes of the Inclusive Orthodox Church; and Patti Hildeth of the Center for Spiritual Living Windward Oahu.

About 6,000 people were expected to attend the congress, which is held every five years. The Dalai Lama is among the many speakers at the event.


Menorah raising at Kalakaua Park

A tall menorah will be raised Friday in King Kalakaua Park at the entrance to Waikiki as Jewish congregations begin the celebration of Hanukkah.

In the public display by Chabad of Hawaii and in Jewish homes, the nine candles on the menorah are ceremoniously lighted, with a new one each day of the eight-day festival. The holiday celebrates a victory for religious freedom in 165 B.C.

A public menorah-lighting ceremony will be held 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at the park at Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues. It will follow a parade of cars bearing lighted menorahs; the cars will assemble at Kaimuki High School and proceed downtown and then back through Waikiki to the park.

Hanukkah community events include:

Temple Emanu-El, 2550 Pali Highway, 595-7521.

» Hawaii Jewish Seniors will host an 11 a.m. luncheon Thursday. Cantor Ken Aronowitz will sing, joined by children from the temple preschool. The cost is $10 for nonmembers. For reservation information, call Richard Field.

» A potluck supper and a program of Israeli dancing will precede the Friday Shabbat service. Monday is the deadline to register by calling the office.

Chabad of Hawaii, 410 Atkinson Drive, 734-8161.

» The 23rd annual Grand Hanukkah Party will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Ala Moana Hotel. The cost is $18 for adults, $12 for children.

» People may join the Car Menorah Parade on Dec. 17 for a $36 fee. Call to join the parade or to sponsor a vehicle.

Most Jews celebrate Hanukkah with family gatherings. The Festival of Lights recalls a victory of Hebrew freedom fighters over Assyrian conquerors, and reclamation of the temple in Jerusalem, which had been defiled.