The public is invited to celebrate Buddha’s birthday at the Hawai‘i Buddhist Council’s annual Hanamatsuri (Buddha Day) service. University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa emeritus professor of religion Dr. George Tanabe will be the guest speaker at the service, which will be held Sunday, April 2, at Jodo Mission of Hawaii (1429 Makiki St.).

Hanamatsuri celebrates the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha, who was born in India on the eighth day of the fourth month and given the name Siddhartha. Legend has it that at the time of his birth in the Lumina Garden, sweet rain came down from the heavens to wash the baby Buddha and that all of the flowers in the yard bloomed fully. That is why Buddha’s birthday is also referred to as Hanamatsuri, or the “Flower Festival.”

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