Saturday, April 9, 2011

Busshôe, April 8

"Every temple celebrates Buddha's birthday. Since Buddha is said to have declared at the moment of his birth, 'I am my own Lord throughout heaven and earth,' a Buddhist statue [or its picture], with is right hand pointing to heaven and left hand to earth, is placed in a basin, and based upon the legent that he was given his first bath by Hachidai Ryûô (The God of Eight Big Dragons) with honeydew, ama-cha (tea of heaven or hydrangea tea) is poured over the statue. This is called kambutsu, and the place where this takes place is called hana-mido (a flower chapel) as it is decorated with flowers. It is celebrated on May 8th in some districts, but April may be preferable because there is a larger variety of flowers blooming in April and this provides us with more merriment when we put the kettle on."
-- Sasaki Sanmi, "Chado"

Blessing Buddha with ama-cha at Ueno Park's Kiyomizu Kannon-Do, Tokyo.

Hana-mido (center of photo) at Kita-in temple (specifically, Narita-san
Shin-shoji) in Kawagoe. At right is a statue of Binzuru.
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