It's an exciting exhibit, said Chanthavilay Sanouvong, a 47-year-old Ceres resident who teaches children about the Theravada Buddhist tradition and Laotian language at the temple.
"It's so very special for the relics to be here," she said. "It's my first time to see them. I believe they bring healing and good luck. They can change the bad in your life to the good."
The relics, which next will travel to Tahoe City on July 8-10, and Sacramento on July 15-17, have been on display around the world for the past two years.
The tour is part fundraiser, with donations going toward the construction of a 500-foot-tall Buddha statue in [the ancient city where the Buddha passed into final nirvana] Kushinagar, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.
According to a Web site, the statue will sit atop a throne building surrounded by a park and will include temples, exhibition halls, a museum, library, audio- visual theater and hospitality services. There also will be meditation pavilions, water fountains, and tranquil pools.
In Ceres, an opening ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday will include a procession, prayers, candlelight, and blessings from monks, said Ven. Bounma Khamvongsod (pictured), a 71-year-old monk from Laos who has served at the temple for 25 years. Some of the relics, enclosed in special small display cases, can be placed on the crown of a person's head as a personal blessing. More