Dalai Lama celebrates 80th birthday with summit on compassion in California

Global News

IRVINE, Calif. – It won’t be a small, private affair when the Dalai Lama celebrates his 80th birthday this weekend in southern California.

Hundreds of well-wishers are expected at a three-day Global Compassion Summit to mark the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s big day, with events Sunday through Tuesday at Anaheim’s Honda Center and the University of California, Irvine.

The Dalai Lama himself plans to deliver talks all three days on global compassion, creativity and the arts, youth leadership and climate change. His actual birthday is on Monday.

Plans for the festivities include an 8-foot (2.4-meter)-tall birthday cake complete with maroon-and-gold frosting – the colours of the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan robes.

Volunteer Colleen Johnson and her team at the Art Institute of California are using a Styrofoam base covered in 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of fondant and more than 400 delicate gum paste flowers. A compartment in the side will hold…

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