Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Buddhicized New Year Picture

Today is the last day of the 12th Chinese lunar month, which is also Chinese New Year’s Eve. So by now, any followers of Chinese tradition would have already put up chuntie (春貼) (red or gold color papers with auspicious phrases, idioms, or couplets) and/or nianhua (年畫) (new year pictures or posters) to decorate the interior walls of their homes.

The figures of Buddhist deities are usually not taken as subjects for new year pictures, but I came across an interesting new year picture that shows the classical Chinese Buddhist representation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (觀音菩薩 Guanyin Pusa) in her popular form as the White Robed Guanyin (白衣觀音 Baiyi Guanyin) depicted instead in the auspicious red color of Chinese New Year.

White Robed Guanyin – The traditional and most popular style of representation
of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in Chinese Buddhism

A contemporary picture of Guanyin in red color for Chinese New Year
The four vertical characters read Guanyin Bestows Blessings

May Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, bestow her blessings on everyone in the coming new year!

Text © 2011 Harry Leong

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