By Adriana Reyes
On April 8, at the headquarters of Centro Comunitario de Caracas, in the El Marqués urbanization (residential development), we celebrated the International Day of the Buddha in the city of Caracas, Venezuela.
We performed the ceremony of Kanbutsu-e (灌 仏 会), celebrating the birth of Buddha and the promulgation of the International Day of Buddhism. This activity was organized by the Zen Center Bodaishin of Caracas, whose President is Marina ShinJi Tirado Misle. She is a Zen nun and coordinator of the URI Cooperation Circle “Para el Diálogo” (for the Dialogue), as well the Institute of Hispanic Buddhist Studies (IEBH).
The ceremony is known as the traditional bath of the budding Buddha. Decorated with flowers, the Buddha statue is bathed with a sweet tea. This celebration originated in Japan.
The tradition indicates that when Buddha was born, it rained Amacha (Tea of Hortencias); hence the origin of this beautiful ritual. With the participation of representatives of the three branches of Buddhism, in addition to different civic organizations and cultures of peace, the members of “Circulo De Cooperación para el Diálogo” of Caracas came together with the general public to celebrate the day with joy and rejoicing.