April 28, 2018
Hana-matsuri (the anniversary of the birth of Buddha): Kaizo-ji
On April 8, in almost all Japanese Buddhist temples, the "Hana-matsuri" (flower festival), which is also called "Kan-butsu-e" (the festival of bathing the new-born Buddha), is held for celebrating the birthday of Buddha.
A tiny "Hana-mido" (flower shrine) is decorated with various beautiful spring flowers. A small basin called "Kan-butsu-oke" (the tub for bathing Buddha) is filled with "Ama-cha" (sweet hydrangea tea). In this basin, an image of the newborn Buddha is placed and the worshipers pour Ama-cha tea onto this image for celebrating his birthday.
This practice of pouring Ama-cha is based on the legend that the nine dragons of heaven poured pure rainwater onto the newborn Buddha to give him a his first bath.
This newborn Buddha is standing in the symbolic pose for declaring that he is his own Lord throughout heaven and earth (Tenjyo-tenge-yuigadokuson) by pointing his fingers at heaven and earth.