The Jātaka tales are a voluminous body of literature native to India concerning the previous births of Gautama Buddha in both human and animal form. The future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a god, an elephant—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates.
The purpose of the Jataka Storytelling Contest is for children to learn more about the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion through the tales of Jataka in English. Children may learn English in fun ways and increase their presentation skills. This contest has been held every January since 2008.