Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Hana Matsuri, Shiraishi Island (the bathing Buddha ritual) #japan

Yesterday, I took some of the villa guests up to the island's temple to the Hana Matsuri to celebrate Buddha's birthday. There, we took part in a ritual called "bathing Buddha" in which we poured amacha (sweet tea) over a statue of the Buddha. The amacha symbolizes the sweet rain that is said to have fallen on the day of Buddha's birth over 2,500 years ago.

 This small display was set out in front of the temple. Notice the Buddha statue in the center.

 Pouring sweet tea over the Buddha, bathing him.

After performing the ritual, the Buddhist priest invited us in for green tea and a chat. It was wonderful to see my old friend the priest, again. We had our photos taken with him, including his grandchildren who were visiting from the mainland.

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