Buddhist Temple hosts annual Hanamatsuri event

Members of the Kokoro no Gakko school were on hand to teach guests how to create oragami at the Hanamatsuri Festival on Sunday. — Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian

Held to celebrate the birth of Buddha

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Buddhist Temple once again opened its doors to the community on Sunday for the annual Hanamatsuri Flower Festival.

Hanamatsuri (“flower festival”) is a celebration of the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha—the religious leader on whose teaching Buddhism was founded. Buddhist congregations around the world observe the holiday.

Sunday’s festival was held immediately following a Hanamatsuri service within the temple. A tour of the temple was also offered to early festival attendees.

According to Rev. Jay Shinseki, the festival saw a smaller crowd the usual, perhaps due to the event landing on the same day as Easter. However, those who did show up had plenty to enjoy.

In addition to colorful displays of flowers, bonsai and traditional wooden Japanese dolls, the festival offered attendees several activities. Members of the Kokoro no Gako school had set up a table to create origami. A treasure hunt was held. Watsonville Taiko performed, and demonstrations of Judo and Shorinji Kempo were given.

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A colorful altar of flowers was set up near the stage at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple for Hanamatsuri. The tradition honors the birthday of Buddha. — Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian 

Hanamatsuri is one of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple’s annual fundraisers to help support the temple—food and raffle ticket proceeds will help with upkeep of the space and funding for future events.

Today, Mae Yoshida of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple Hanamatsuri Committee sent out a thank you to the community for their participation.

“It does take a village,” Yoshida wrote. “Your support for each fundraiser helps us to maintain the temple; to function and be part of the community to enjoy.”

Editor's note: This article will publish in the April 26 edition of the Register-Pajaronian.

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