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A euphoric last glimpse of Buddha finger bone
By Alfons Chan (China Daily HK Edition)
Updated: 2004-06-04 11:22

A greater number of visitors showed up Thursday to catch a last glimpse of the Buddha finger bone before it leaves Hong Kong.

A ceremony is held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to welcome the arrival of the Buddha finger bone, May 25, 2004. [newsphoto]

About 800,000 free tickets were distributed to local residents who have flocked to see the relic since it went on show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre last week.

"There is a substantial increase in the number of people at the exhibition today, and they are eager to see the Buddha's finger on its last day of public display in Hong Kong," Hugo San, an exhibition staff member from the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, told China Daily.

"This exhibition has been very successful, and the reception we have seen has more than surpassed our expectations. The presence of the Buddha's finger bone relic has brought harmony to the city, and those who worship the relic in person will be filled with his blessing," San said.

The holy relic, flown in from Famen temple in Xi'an to mark the celebration of Buddha's birthday, was an immediate hit. Hong Kong is the third place after Thailand and Taiwan to borrow the relic from the mainland for worship.

"I heard devotees describe a euphoric feeling after worshipping the Buddha's finger bone in person, so I have come to see the relic for myself on the last day of the exhibition," said Fanny Au, who was among scores of people lining up to see the artefact.

"This is a rare opportunity for a Buddhist like myself, and a chance for non-faithfuls to experience the benevolence of the Buddha," said a woman who would only identify herself as Ms Lee.

The holy relic will be transported back to Shannxi Province by chartered plane tomorrow.

The Sakyamuni Buddha's finger bone is one of the most sacred relics in Buddhism. Monks carried it from northern India to the Shaanxi Province in China about 200 years after the Buddha's death.

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