Celebrating the birthday of the founder of Buddhism, this year marks the 26th year of the Birthday Buddha Festival in Darling Harbour.

Organised by the Illawarra’s Nan Tien Temple and its various Sydney branches, the festival aims to connect people from all walks of life who aspire to live by the message of Buddha.

The preparation for the festival spanned two months, and included over 1,000 volunteers from all cultures, backgrounds and ages.

Illawarra event organiser and volunteer at the Nan Tien Temple, Stacy Wang said the festival involves an offering to Buddha himself, as well as a bathing of the Buddha which symbolises the cleansing of speech, actions and the mind.