Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival) in Japan Date in the current year: April 8, 2016

Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival) in Japan The Japanese annually celebrate Hana Matsuri, or the Flower Festival, on April 8. This festival is devoted to Buddha's Birthday.

Buddha's Birthday celebrates the birthday of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama. The holiday exists only in Mahayana, one of the branches of Buddhism. The date of celebration falls on different dates in various countries. For instance, the date is calculated according the Hindu calendar or to the Chinese calendar, that depends on the country of the observance. Since Japan accepted the Gregorian calendar, in many temples Buddha's Birthday is celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar dates.

On this day special altars are erected in Buddhist temples in Japan. The temples are decorated with flowers and a statue of a newborn Buddha is installed. The Japanese pour ama-cha, a sweet tea prepared from a variety of hydrangea) on small Buddha statue. The flowers used for decoration of altar are the symbol of Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. And pouring of tea on the statue symbolizes bathing of the newborn.

Festive processions are held in big cities of Japan. In some regions, people carry decorated with flowers palanquin holding a miniature statue of Buddha-child inside. Streets are decorated with white paper lanterns painted black and red characters.

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Religious Holidays, Unofficial Holidays




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