A Night with the Buddha Festival

A memorial festival held each year on 11 March in commemoration of the destruction of the Buddha statues by militia Taliban.

Since 2012, on 11 March every year the Bamiyan community, spurred by the University, organizes a ‘Night with the Buddha’ in commemoration of the destruction of the Buddha statues on the same day in 2001.

About 500 to 1,000 people, mostly university students, normally attend (in spite of the cold during the night at that time of year) readings of traditional poetry and music, photo displays and the like.

© Festival's Facebook page

These celebrations have met with some hostility among the local clergy and religiously conservative inhabitants, which mainly seems to be directed, however, not against the celebrations themselves, but against the undue marketing of souvenirs (Buddha T-shirts, tea cups etc.) in which they perceive the seed of idolatry.

This resistance has to be taken seriously and we would, in fact, recommend limiting the merchandizing of this event.

© Festival's Facebook page
© Festival's Facebook page
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