Hanamatsuri is our annual commemoration of Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth. The name literally means festival of the flowers. We mark the occasion by creating an altar of fresh flowers and holding a special service.
Born in a grove of blossoming trees, the baby Buddha is said to have taken seven steps representing each direction–North, South, East, West, Up, Down and Here. Pointing to the sky and to the ground he proclaimed, “Above the heavens, below the earth, I alone am the world honored one.”
On Hanamatsuri, everyone present ceremonially bathes the baby Buddha statue with a dipper of water and offers a flower in gratitude for his entry into the world.