Watch out for the Buddhists amidst the feathered headdresses and scantily clad samba dancers in this weekend's Carnaval parade in San Francisco. The colorful Latino parade will include Soka Gokkai International, a Buddhist troupe making its first Carnaval appearance Watch out for the Buddhists amidst the feathered headdresses and scantily clad samba dancers in this weekend's Carnaval parade in San Francisco. The colorful Latino parade will include Soka Gokkai International, a Buddhist troupe making its first Carnaval appearance.

“We are an international movement for peace, culture and education,” Dianne Douglas, community relations director for the Northern California region, told El Telecote. “Our core activity is neighborhood discussion meetings … the real basis of our movement is dialogue among people in their community.”

Buddhists all over the Bay area are busy celebrating the Buddha's birthday. For the past two weeks, in Vietnamese communities in San Jose, the celebration of Buddha’s birthday has dominated the news. In San Jose the celebrations included a parade with monks in saffron robes, and disciples and children in Vietnamese ao dai dresses bearing flowers. The parade ended in front of San Jose City Hall where there stood an enormous lotus flower in the center of which was a young baby Buddha.

There are more than 300 Buddhist temples in the Bay area catering to Buddhists of many different denominations. After Carnaval, they might find a few new visitors.