Shinnyo-en Celebrates the Birth of the Buddha

April 08, 2012
Tachikawa, Japan

On April 8th, Shinnyo-en celebrated the birthday of Siddhartha Gautama, who became the Buddha Shakyamuni. The annual celebration was led by Shinnyo-en’s Head Priest, Shinso Ito, who officiated at the Festival of the Buddha’s Birth service at the head temple in Tachikawa.

The celebration focuses on birth and re-birth at just this point of the year in which the world-famous Japanese cherry trees are in springtime bloom. Thus the ceremony is also known as the Flower Festival; tradition tells us that the celestial beings caused flowers to rain down from the heavens when Siddhartha was born.

Shinnyo-en members and their families participated in the festival through the traditional anointing of a statue of the young Buddha with sweet tea, an emblem of the life-giving, mild rains of spring.