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SOTOZEN.COM > Practice > The Soto Zen Annual Event Calendar

The Soto Zen Annual Event Calendar

Soto zen Buddhism event calendar with information on yearly events that take place in spring, summer, Autumn, and winter.

Spring

Equinox Ceremony (Higan-e) March

Equinox Ceremony (Higan-e) March In Japanese, there is a proverb that says “Hot and cold weather last until the equinox”.

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Flower Festival (Hana-matsuri) April 8th

Flower Festival (Hana-matsuri) April 8th Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on April 8th.

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Summer

O-bon

The memorial services held at Obon have two meanings.

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A Ceremony to Comfort the Ancestral Spirits (Sejiki-e)

The Obon Sejiki-e, a ceremony to comfort the ancestral spirits, is an important ceremony in The Soto Zen School.

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Autumn

Equinox Ceremony (Higan-e) March and September

Equinox Ceremony (Higan-e) March and September In Japanese, there is a proverb that says “Hot and cold weather last until the equinox”.

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Memorial Service for Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji (Ryosoki) September 29th

Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji

Keizan Zenji (left), Dogen Zenji (right)

For the lay believers of Sotoshu, it can be said that Dogen Zenji and Keizan Zenji are, in terms of their faith, like father and mother.

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Memorial Service for Bodhidharma (Darumaki) October 5th

Daruma-san Daruma-san, a round red-colored doll, is known as a good-luck talisman associated with temples and shrines.

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Winter

Rohatsu Sesshin

The week between December 1st and 8th is called Rohatsu Sesshin, which is a whole week of intensive zazen.

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Ceremony Commemorating the Awakening of Shakyamuni Buddha (Jodo-e) December 8th

December 8th is the day we commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha’s realization of the Way.

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Commemoration ceremony of the Second Patriarch’s cutting off his forearm (Danpi Ho-on Sesshin) December 9th and 10th

On December 9th and 10th, Danpi Ho-on Sesshin and intensive zazen take place.

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end-of-year events (O-misoka) December 31st

Eiheiji:

On December 27th, the rice-cake pounding ceremony takes place and great quantities of rice-cakes are made.

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The Founder’s Birthday (Koso gotan-e) January 26th

January 26th is the birthday of Dogen (the Founder of Soto Zen).

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Nirvana Ceremony, Commemorating the Buddha’s Death (Nehan-e) February 15th

This is the day that Shakyamuni Buddha died near the town of Kushinagara on the banks of the Hiranyavati River.

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