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Where Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

Edited : Hanamatsuri Service will be on Youtube Channel on APRIL 8TH!

Happy Hanamatsuri, Everyone!

We hope you are staying safe. We hope you are being able to enjoy lovely signs of Spring.

Hanamatsuri, flower festival in Japanese, is celebrated on April 8, to commemorate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha. Siddhartha is believed to have been born on April 8, 566 B.C. He was born the son of King Suddodhana and Queen Maya in the Garden of Lumbini. At his birth, celestial birds sang beautiful songs, flowers blossomed everywhere, and a sweet gentle rain fell to bathe the baby Buddha. The newborn Buddha immediately stood up and then took seven steps. With each step that he took, a lotus flower blossomed under his feet.

Usually the Sunday closest to April 8th is Hanamatsuri Service at Oregon Buddhist Temple. We decorate a small shrine with spring flowers (Hanamidou) which represents the beautiful Garden of Lumbini. We pour sweet tea over the statue of baby Buddha, as the sweet rain that bathed him. Dharma School students share an activity they have been practicing for weeks -- a short play, a quiz show, some music, to celebrate Buddha's birthday.

This year, we get to celebrate Buddha's birth from each of our homes.  We are planning something new for Hanamatsuri service which will be on Wednesday, April 8th. Stay tuned for more information on our website and our Facebook pages (we have two pages but we will have same information on both!) Meanwhile, please tune in to our Youtube channel for the live streaming Sunday service on April 5th, at 10am. You can watch the recorded service later that day if you are not available -- we hope you can join us for the Sunday service!

Here are a few craft activities for Hanamatsuri you can try at home!

* Make Hanamidou

Do you have small boxes, popsicle sticks, or any other materials you can make a small shrine? Do you have paper clay, any other clay, or something you can make a small shape that can represent baby Buddha? Then there is your Hanamidou! Decorate it with pretty flowers! Be creative!

Here is an example of Hanamidou using empty cream carton (cleaned and cut out), glue sticks, tissue paper to cover the carton, air dry clay, paints (water color, acrylic), and artificial and natural flowers!

Check out coloring pages on the Dharma School Resources page, print them out and color them!!

* Paper Flower Crafts

Make beautiful paper flowers! Check Youtube, Pinterest and verious craft sites and blogs for many possibilities for different levels!

Here is one link to fold origami flower instructitons.

* Have Some Tea !

Some Japanese temples offer you sweet tea to drink on Hanamatsuri day. Sweet tea (甘茶, amacha) is a Japanese herbal tea made from fermented leaves of Hydrangea macrophylla var. thunbergii. This tea contains natural sweetener which is 400 times sweeter than regular sugar! Wow... Try to brew your favorite tea (if you don't drink tea, maybe hot water with honey and lemon?) and celebrate Buddha's birthday!

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected!

These flowers are all from Oregon Buddhist Temple's garden!



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