Holidays Around The World for April 8: Hana Matsuri

Hana Matsuri

Hana Matsuri is a celebration of the Buddha’s birthday, observed in Buddhist temples throughout Japan, where it is known as Kambutsue . The highlight of the celebration is a ritual known as kambutsue(“ceremony of ‘baptizing’ the Buddha”), in which a tiny bronze statue of the Buddha, standing in an open lotus flower, is anointed with sweet tea. People use a small bamboo ladle to pour the tea, made of hydrangea leaves, over the head of the statue. The custom is supposed to date from the seventh century, when perfume was used, as well as tea. Festivities often include a procession of children carrying flowers.

CONTACTS:
Japan Information Network, Japan Center for Intercultural Communications
2-7-7 Hirakawacho
Chiyodaku
Tokyo, 102-0093 Japan
81-3-3263-5041; fax: 81-3-3230-4107
home.jcic.or.jp
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 76
JapanFest-1965, p. 62
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