Sunday, 8 April 2012
Today is the Japanese Flower Festival or Hanamatsuri, a celebration of the Buddha's birthday. The date of the Buddha’s birth varies from one tradition or school of Buddhism to another. According to the Japanese, Buddha was born on the eighth day of the fourth month of the traditional Chinese calendar, and although this date will vary on the international calendar, the Japanese have translated the date to the 8th of April. The nature of the festival varies greatly from region to region, and often appears to have the characteristics of older spring festivals: driving out devils or praying for the coming harvest.