Members of Ireland's Buddhist community are marking Enlightenment Day at the Mansion House in Dublin this afternoon.

Bodhi Day is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment.

Zen Buddhists in Ireland mark the day on 8 December.

Following the launch of the traditional crib at the Mansion House, the Lord Mayor of Dublin is beginning a celebration of the city's minority faith traditions.

The move by Hazel Chu aims to mark and respect the winter festivals of other faiths in the capital.

Each day a Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish person, Hindu, Baháʼí, Muslim and Christian will hold a lunchtime ceremony in the Lord Mayor's Garden.

It began today with Zen Buddhists marking Bodhi Day.

Community practice is one of the "three treasures" of Buddhism.

However, social distancing has meant 10,000 Buddhists in Ireland have been unable to practise together during Covid-19.

Soto Zen Buddhist priest Rev Myozan Kodo said that unlike bigger Christian denominations, small faith groups do not have big churches or halls to meet in, where they can be socially distant.

"Like a lot of religious minorities, we are renting in a more precarious way - small spaces in which you cannot socially distance. So, without the intergenerational wealth and property portfolio of the big churches, we simply have nowhere to practise our services."

Minority faiths say the ongoing issue of space provision or accommodation has been exacerbated by Covid-19.

The Dublin City Interfaith Forum has welcomed this week's initiative by Lord Mayor Chu.

The forum has said that it hopes the celebration of minority faiths will become an annual fixture.