The term Obon is from the Sanskrit for Ullambana the sutra from which the tradition of Obon began. Obon is a memorial for all our temple members who have died. It is an opportunity for us to honor and express gratitude to them. Honor your family members who have died, practice Dana and do not fear death, but embrace it and live if fully. To embrace death means to know the truth of your life and to live it fully means to live a life of gratitude. Join life and join Obon by partaking in life. Eat, dance and live then you are ready to die.
Hanamatsuri literally means the Flower Festival. This is the time when we celebrate the birth of Siddartha Gautama who would later become the Buddha the Enlightened One. Born in Lumbini’s garden on April 8, 563 BCE, legend tells us that a sweet rain fell and the trees were in full bloom. In celebration of his birthday we re-create the event with a hanamido (flower shrine) with a statue of the baby Buddha who is bathed in sweet tea.