Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

Zen Practice Events

About the Event

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration

This year on 31st March starting 11am, we’ll be celebrating the Buddha’s birthday at Zenways London Dojo, and online. All ages welcome, families welcome.

Tradition states that about two and a half thousand years ago in what is now southern Nepal, Prince Gautama was born in a garden. At the birth, the plants and trees spontaneously came into bloom. So in Japan, Buddha’s birthday is called Hanamatsuri, meaningflower festival,” and is celebrated in many temples and monasteries. Naturally the festival particularly celebrates children and families.

Our celebrations will start at 11am with a short ceremony that all can participate in (especially children), followed by a bring-and-share lunch. We will also be live online via the regular Sunday zazen zoom link.

The ceremony will involve first making a flower display around a statue of the baby Buddha. Then as everyone begins chanting, each will have the opportunity to pour sweet tea onto the baby Buddha’s head.

We’d like to offer this celebration as a fundraiser for UNICEF, the United Nations children’s charity. You can donate using this link. All the money raised will be sent on to UNICEF.

What you can bring if you’re coming in-person

  • Flowers to add to the display or arrange around the table
  • Vegetarian lunch to share

What you can do if you want to join on-line

  • Create your own Hanamatsuri altar: Find a large serving bowl. Place a statue of something representing the baby Buddha in the middle (this could be anything meaningful to you). Fill the bowl with sweet tea. Arrange flowers around it. See the below image for inspiration.
  • Chant with us, and pour tea onto your own baby Buddha
  • Stay around for a social chat over lunch


Event Details

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