The Los Angeles Buddhist Church Federation will hold its annual Hanamatsuri (Flower Festival) celebration on Sunday, April 8.

This year’s celebration will be held in the Garden Room of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC) located at 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo. The theme is “Buddhism and Children.”

It will begin at 1 p.m. with a ceremony in which the 15 Buddhist priests associated with the six Buddhist temples in the Little Tokyo area will participate. This service will also feature a women’s chanting group as well as songs sung by children.

Following the ceremony, a special message will be delivered by Rev. Chozen Bays, M.D., entitled “Providing the Best Future for Our Children.” She is a well-known pediatrician who specializes in mindful eating, among other things. Following her talk, there will be an award ceremony for the children’s art and photo contest.

The program will conclude with a special performance by the Grateful Crane Ensemble, a popular theater group. They will perform “Project Momotaro,” a set of three classic Japanese children’s stories that will be fun and nostalgic for the entire family.

The entire celebration is open to the public and free of charge. “Please join us for this meaningful event honoring the birth of the Buddha and the connection between the Buddhist teaching and children,” said a federation spokesperson.

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