Last Saturday was the Flower Festival at our nearby temple, honouring Buddha's birthday. Most people around here are pretty laid back about religion and will go to Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and Christian churches depending on the event. Our local Shinto shrine has been run by H's family for generations but that didn't stop both his brothers getting married in a church or his dad coming over to take us to the Flower Festival.
You can't really tell in these pictures, but there was a small statue of Buddha standing in a bowl of sweet tea under this little flower-decorated canopy. Everyone took it in turns to scoop up a little of the tea and pour it over the statue.
K had a go too, and even the priest was taking photos of him!
After the tea-pouring we each drank a tiny cup of the very sweet tea and were given a snack cake to take home with us.
According to some of my students, Buddha's birthday was actually last month and according to my diary it's next Friday. Whenever it is, Happy Birthday Buddha!