“Hana-matsuri”~The festival on The Buddha’s Birthday on April 8th

By TERRY - Last updated: 水曜日, 4月 7, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

 April 8th (in the lunar calendar) is a special day that is believed to be the Buddha’s Birthday , on  which  special festivals  called “Hana-matsuri” (The Flower Festival)   or  “Kan-butsu-e”(/灌仏会) are  held  at  Buddhist temples in  Japan.

On that day every year, at  Buddhist temples (though depending on the denominations), Hana-matsuri festivals are held all over Japan.  The temples prepare a baby Buddha’s image and visitors pour sweet tea onto the 450px-A_birthday_of_Buddha,hanamatsuri,kanpukuji-temple,katori-city,japan image praying for their happiness and fortune.

  This ritual is said to be done according to the legend concerning the birth of  Buddha that when he was born, nine good dragons poured holy rain, which is believed to be something “pure and sweet” in Buddhism,  from heaven to baby Buddha in order to celebrate his  great birth. 

I myself  sometimes visit a temple at  Hana-matsuri festival on Apr.8th or a few days after that to pour sweet tea and drink it for good fortune. Actually a lot of people visit temples on that day every year. So, if you visit Japan  around this time of a year, I recommend you to visit a temple to enjoy  the unique atmosphere of old Japanese Buddhist temples and their festivals.


 At some temples host some other events as a part of the festival, such as ” Chigo-gyouretsu”(/稚児行列, a parade of  children wearing special colorful costumes.  “Chigo” was a child who lived at a temple to study and be disciplined for a certain term as a secular apprentices of  the priests there in the olden days)   A lot of  tourists also enjoy those events as well.KN20100405105920880L1

Posted in Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan • • Top Of Page
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