Hana Matsuri (literally "flowers' day") is celebreated in Japan on April 8th, which is the date of birth of Buddha. Throughout the day, the faithful parade in Buddhist temples to commune with themselves at a tanjobustsu (a statue representing young Buddha). With a ladle, they pour some sugary tea called amacha on it, or a beverage made with fermented rice called amazake. The niche inside which is placed the statue is decorated with flowers, as a reminder of Spring.
Various events are organized during Hana Matsuri depending on the culture and the traditions of each region of the archipelago. In some areas, people pray for good harvests, in others they dance to chase the demons away.
During this celebration, both adults and children wear kimono. Women hold colorful parasols with flower patterns printed on them, men put on straw hats that are commonly wore in rice fields, and young children follow the paths leading to the temples while singing Buddhist tunes. The faithful parade in a procession among streets ornamented with lanterns, followed by a white elephant made of papier-mâché on which is placed a statue of Buddha.
Hana Matsuri is really popular in Japan. Each year, thousands of visitors gather at the temples for the occasion!