Buddhist Holidays

O-Higan (Spring & Fall)

There are three major ways we could describe the meaning of O-Higan and all of them are important. They all shed light on this holiday from a distinct angle and enable us to deepen our lives and practice in a different way.

In Japan the equinoxes are called o-higan, and are regarded as times when spirits of the dead return to visit in this world. It is a tradition for people to go to their family graves and make offerings to ancestral spirits.

Beyond just the cultural meaning in Japan, in Zen Buddhism, the meaning of O-Higan is directly connected to our life-practice.

The term "higan" means literally the "other shore", and it is in our tradition a metaphor for Nirvana, a place of respite on the "other side" of Samsara, the cycle of birth and death.

This river consists of four streams: the stream of craving, the stream of clinging to self, the stream of wrong views, and the stream of ignorance. Reaching “higan” means going beyond all these streams. So O-Higan is a celebration of our life-practice in the direction of reaching “the other shore”.

During O-Higan we also celebrate the perfect harmony of balance between day and night, and a flux of all Dharmas that are represented by the movement of Earth and the continuous change of seasons.

We celebrate O-Higan twice per year in March and September.

Hanamatsuri (Buddha's Birthday)

A description of Hanamatsuri is in progress. Thank you for your patience. 🙏


A description of Obon is in progress. Thank you for your patience. 🙏

Bodhi Day

A description of Bodhi Day is in progress. Thank you for your patience. 🙏