The Big Happy Buddha Statue is a symbol of joy and contentment, and is often mistakenly identified in the West as "The Buddha" when in fact, he is not an incarnation of Gautama Buddha at all. Instead, the Happy Buddha was a Chinese monk who passed out candies and gifts to the children who came to listen to learn about the Dharma. He later on became venerated, and became a symbol for prosperity and abundance.
While originally of Chinese origin, you will find sculptures of the Big Happy Buddha throughout much of Asia, including Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, particularly in areas where there are large populations of ethnic Chinese living.
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