2013 Hanamatsuri Week, which was proclaimed by our Mayor Carvalho, has started.
Hanamatsuri (花祭り)in Japanese which literally means Flower Festival commemorates the celebration of the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama (624-544 BCE or 566-486 BCE) who later became known as Shakyamuni Buddha, founder of Buddhism. Because of the location of his birth in Lumbini (Nepal) where beautiful flower bloomed, it was called Hanamatsuri in Japan.
According to the old Chinese tradition which Japanese followed, he was born in April 8, enlightened (35yrs old) in December 8, and passed away (80yrs old) in February 15. But other Buddhist traditions celebrate this day, called Vesak Day, together with Bodhi Day (Buddha's enlightenment) and Parinirvana (Buddha's passing) Day because these three events were believed to happen in the same day when it was full moon.
During the Hanamatsuri Week this year, I'd like to offer a noon service open to public everyday and also the book of teaching of Buddha will be avaialbe for free.
Also on this coming Sunday, April 7 at 9:30 a.m., the Kauai Buddhist Concil is sponsoring a Buddha Day Service at Lihue Hongwanji Mission.
The guest speakers will be Dr. George J. Tanabe and Dr. Willa Tanabe who are co-authors of "An Illustrated Guide; Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawaii." Dr. Geroge is professor emeritus in the Department of Religion at the University of Hawaii and Dr. Willa is professor emeritus in the Department of Art and Art History and former dean of hte School of Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacifict Studies, Universtiy of Hawaii.
Everybody, whether you are Buddhist or not, is wlecome to join in the Hanamatsuri and I defenietely recommend you to come to listen to Dr. Tanabes' presentation. Refreshments and a game of lucky number will follow the service. Once again, Happy Hanamatsuri Week!
*The years of Gautama's birth and death by Iwanami's Bukkyo Jiten Dictionary.