Special observances, in Japanese, are called gyoji—literally “religious happenings.” They are special occasions when the Sangha gathers to observe ritually the principles of Buddhism. It is a time to gather and a time to share.
It is a time to reflect upon and appreciate the intricate bonds that enable us to live and a time to show our gratitude for the teachings and the teachers who serve as guides in our journey to spiritual understanding.
Buddhist Observances throughout the Year
|January||New Year’s Day||January 1||Shusho E||New Year’s Day|
|Shinran Shonin Memorial||January16||Ho-on-ko||Feast of Thanksgiving and gratitude|
|February||Nirvana Day||February 15||Nehan E||Passing of Sakyamuni into Nirvana|
|March||Higan||March 21||Higan E||Spring Equinox|
|April||Buddha Day||April 8||Hana-matsuri||Birth of Gautama Buddha – the “flower festival”|
|May||Shinran Shonin Day||May 21||Shuso-Gotan E||Placed his faith in Amida’s power|
|June, July||Obon||June, July||Obon||Obon festivals around the country|
|August||Obon Festival||2nd Saturday||Obon||LV Buddhist Sangha Obon Festival|
|September||BCA Founding Day||September 1||BCA Founding Day|
|Higan||September 23||Higan E||Autumnal Equinox|
|November||Eitaikyo||not specified||Eitaikyo||Memorial Service|
|December||Bodhi Day||December 8||Jodo E Jaya E||Enlightenment|