Buddhists to Celebrate Festival of Higan

March 22, 2003

Source: Honolulu Advertiser


On March 22, 2003 the Honolulu Advertiser reported that "this month, Buddhists commemorate the festival of Higan ('the other shore'). As with many festivals in Japan, it's associated with ancestors who have gone to the other shore of the Pure Land. However, Higan in Buddhist teaching referred originally to the attainment of enlightenment or Nirvana. In the traditional image, we cross the stream or river of births and deaths using the raft of the Dharma (teachings, disciplines and practices)... Higan falls on the spring and fall equinoxes, when time is divided evenly between light and dark, symbolizing the Buddhist middle path, which calls us to strike the balance between two extremes, i.e., hedonism and asceticism."