HANAMATSURI -The Beginnings of Buddhism-

The Flower Festival is a traditional event that celebrates the beginning of Buddhism.

The beginning of Buddhism means the birth of Gautama Siddharta.

For if he had not attained enlightenment, Buddhism would not have existed in this world, and if he had not imparted the teachings of enlightenment, we would not have known about Buddhism.


Gautama Siddharta was a historical real person who appeared in Northern India about 2,500 years ago.

Since Buddha means “the awakened one” “the enlightened one”, he is also called “Gautama Buddha.”

Gautama Buddha’s birthday is said to be April 8th, but actually it is unknown.

According to legend, he was born in a flower garden called Lumbini on a calm spring day, so his birthday is held during the warm flower season.

At the HANAMATSURI, a ceremony is held in which AMACHA(sweet tea) is poured onto a statue of the baby Buddha, modeled after the newborn Gautama Siddharta .

Why do buddhists pour sweet tea on statues of the Baby Buddha?

It is based on the mythical legend of the birth of Buddha.

It is said that when Buddha was born, 

he immediately stood up, took seven steps, 

looked around in all four directions, 

pointed to the sky and the ground, 

and declare, “I alone am the world honored one”.

Of course, it is impossible for a newborn human being to stand or speak.

However, I read this mythical legend as containing a message of a hope for peace, which is a fundamental characteristic of Buddhism. I will explain it down below.

First of all, Buddha walking seven steps represents that he had overcome the six realms known as the ROKUDOU and reached the state of enlightenment.

ROKUDOU is a set of six spiritual worldviews that represent the state of the human mind.

❷SHURA(fighting being)
❸NINGEN(human being)
❹CHIKUSHOU(primitive being)
❺GAKI(hungry being)

Then looking around in all directions, east, west, north, south, and pointing to the sky and the ground represents the boundless, undivided equality of the Buddha’s teachings.

It is said that the Buddha uttered the words “I alone am the world honored one”.

What this means is not to be selfish and boastful about how great one is.

It is telling us that every person is an individual, precious being.

you are the only irreplaceable person in heaven and on earth.

We must recognize that each person is unique and irreplaceable.

It is important to start by becoming deeply aware of this fact.

At the HANAMATSURI ceremony, sweet tea is poured over a statue of the Baby Buddha.

This depicts the miraculous scene when it occurred on buddha’s birthday.

At the time of Gautama Buddha’s birth, 

a wonderful sound echoed throughout the world 

and sweet rain fell from the sky 

and showered on the Buddha’s body.

I mentioned earlier that the HANAMATSURI is a celebration of the birth of Buddha, held on a mild spring day.

However, I also mentioned that it rained when Buddha was born.

I think this means it was a sunshower.

I imagine a scene in which sunshine breaks through the clouds, 

and a sunshower is pouring on the baby buddha’s body in a flower field.

While imagining this scene, please pour sweet tea over the Buddha.

Please celebrate the birth of Gautama Buddha and your own birth into this world.

I hope that you, your loved ones, all the people in the world, and all living beings are in a state of peace.

Let’s hope together quietly.