Rissho Kosei-kai of Tampa Bay celebrated Hanamatsuri, the celebration of Buddha's birthday on April 11.
The Tampa Bay sangha held a special ceremony of bathing the baby Buddha with sweet tea. Following the service, a potluck picnic was held outside by the pond.
Hanamatsuri is a holiday of Mahayana Buddhism that honors the spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism, Prince Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Shakyamuni Buddha. Ama-cha, a beverage prepared from a variety of hydrangea, is poured on small Buddha statues decorated with flowers, as if bathing a newborn baby.