Birthday of the Lotus: August 4
Birthday of the Lotus is a Chinese celebration.
On the Chinese lunar calendar the sixth moon is called the Lotus moon. On the 24th day of the sixth month, it is celebrated, mainly in Peking, the Birthday of the Lotus, or Blooming of the Lotus flowers is celebrated.
History of Birthday of the Lotus
Lotus flower has always been deeply intertwined with the Chinese culture. Even today, in funerals, people offer envelopes with the lotus flower engraved in them. People used to burn incense to the Spirit of the Lotus, they still do in rural areas of China. Buddhism has a saying that: the lotus flower doesn’t grow in the highlands but in the vile swamps, meaning that the symbol of purity that is the lotus may grow in the most sinful soul. Chinese through Buddhism have special adoration for the lotus flowers.
They have strong meanings in the Chinese Buddhist culture and are beautiful all together. According to the legend, Buddha when was born, he walked seven steps in ten different directions, at each step a lotus flower would blossom. The lotus has many meanings, it mainly means purity, but can also mean pleasant scent, loveliness and softness. Even before Buddhism, Chinese had a special place for the lotus flower, as it was adored connected to summer and different gods. Buddhists believe that if they do good in this life, they will leave the eternal return of the cycle of reincarnations and go to the Western Heaven. Here they will find the Seven Treasure Lake which bottom is covered with lotus flowers and gold dust, the flowers are white for purity, blue for goodness and red for enlightenment.
Buddhists also believe that each soul has a lotus flower that is in the Sacred Lake of Lotuses. When their flower blossoms it is time for them to be received in the after death Temple Courtyards. So it is no surprise that this flower when it blooms is a special occasion for all Chinese that have lotuses flowers all over them in the Buddha statues, god statues and as symbols of purity and virtue.
Birthday of the Lotus Traditions, Customs and Activities
On the day of the Birthday of the Lotus, or Blooming of the Lotus, people in Peking gather in the Winter Palace to see the flower blooming in the surrounding lakes. It is custom all over China to take walks near ponds to appreciate the beauty of the newborn flowers. Lotus shaped lanterns are made; some are so colorful and hard worked with details that there are shows and competitions of lotus lanterns on this day.
It is mostly a day to be spent with family and friends walking near the ponds where the lotus flowers have just bloomed, or are in bloom, and have a thankful heart for all the beauty and purity in the world. The blooming flowers also mean that prayers have been answered as they bloom.