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Tuesday, 18th March 2014
In Events In Japan,

Enjoy the Hana-Matsuri festival

Japan is a Buddhist country, and if you're over for spring this year, it's worth heading to a shrine where the birthday of Buddha is celebrated.

In a festival named Hana-Matsuri, people gather at religious establishments throughout the day on April 8th for Kanbutsue, a memorial service which involved sprinkling icons of the baby Buddha figure with amacha - a herbal tea.

Small buildings are decorated with flowers and a large painting is often placed in the main temples. Hydrangea tea is served to visitors from 10pm until 3pm and many locals return to the same temple every year.

Local primary school children also come along, pulling a white elephant in worship along the approach to the main shrine.

Depending on where you are, there are plenty of temples that carry out this sacred message. Senso-ji in Tokyo's Asakusa district always presents a great celebration, as do the Ginkakuji and Nanzenji temples.

Written by Mark Smith


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