More than 1,000 attendees came to Theravada Dhamma Society of Iowa, a Buddhist temple in Marshalltown, to celebrate the completion of one of the largest images of Buddha in the United States.
Families flocked in waves on Sunday to a massive 18-feet-tall, 12-square-feet-wide Buddha statue to take pictures, pray and bring offerings. After a religious session in the morning, entertainers, including singers and dancers representing various ethnic groups within the society took to the stage. More than 30 Buddhist monks from around the state and country attended the celebration, with at least one visitor from each of nearly all the 50 states in attendance.
The project to complete the image took more than two years and could not be done without some help, Theravada Dhamma Society of Iowa liaison Tay Tun said. Not only was the statue included in the construction, but the image is accompanied by a waterfall and bridge.