Flowers for the Buddha
Flower Festival, called Hana-Masturi, honors the birth of the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, over 2,500 years ago. Washing and offering flowers to the baby Buddha is part of the practice on this day, as is lighting lamps and candles to symbolize the Buddha’s enlightenment. There can be blessings of babies and animals, scared music, burning of medicinal incense, and more.
Here in the U.S., Hana-Matsuri is usually celebrated in April. In Nepal, it is on the first full moon of the Vaishakha month - April or May. Festivals are celebrated around the world starting soon.
It would be lovely to be able to offer fresh flowers from our garden on April 8 this year, but here in the Northeast, there are no garden flowers to offer just yet. At my house, we perform the ritual bathing of the Buddha statue, where we pour water over the image of the Buddha, symbolizing a cleansing of ourselves.
This year, I’m going to plant a pot of carrot seeds and pray the Heart Sutra for our animals living, and for my darling Daisy Sage, who left this life on July 7, 2014, for her auspicious rebirth.
Tonight, my husband and I are going to mark off the new boundaries of the vegetable garden, which is going to be twice as big this year. Planting time is soon. It’s all good.