Bishop Noriaki Ito at last year's Hanamatsuri service. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Bishop Noriaki Ito at last year’s Hanamatsuri service. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Federation announced that this year’s Hanamatsuri will take place on Sunday, April 6, from 1 p.m. at Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, 505 E. Third St., Little Tokyo.

The event, entitled “Responding to the Wishes of the Buddha,” will feature the commemorative service officiated by all priests from the affiliated temples and accompanied by Otani Gakuen, a Buddhist chorus group affiliated with Higashi Honganji. A special sermon by Bishop Noriaki Ito, chair of the Hanamatsuri Committee, and a group discussion among Buddhist followers from the affiliated temples will follow. This is an opportunity for the local congregation to talk about the concerns and visions that each temple has, as well as to share their tradition with newcomers.

Los Angeles Buddhist Temple Federation consists of seven local temples: Higashi Honganji, Jodo Shu, Koyasan, Long Beach Buddhist Church, Nichiren Shu, Nishi Hongwanji and Zenshuji. They annually observe the special service called Hanamatsuri to celebrate the Buddha’s birth.

According to several legends, Buddhist followers celebrate the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, by pouring sweet tea upon the top of the baby-Buddha statuette, ornamented by colorful flowers, and the special service featuring this ritual is called Hanamatsuri, which means “flower festival” Japanese.

For more information, contact Bishop Ito at (213) 626-4200 or email

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