|Important Buddhist Ceremonies on Mt.Jiuhua|
Sakyamuni's Birthday falls on the eighth day of the fourth moon . It is the most important festival for Buddhists to observe . It was said that when Sakyamuni was born a sacred dragon sprayed balmy water on him. So on Saykyamuni's birthday all the monks gather in the grand hall of their monastery, offering sacrifice to Buddha, chanting sutra and bathing the image of Sakyamuni with balmy water. The occasion is therefore called "Bathing-Buddha Festival".
During the festival, alms are given to monks and rites are held to remember the dead --giving alms to "starving souls" and burning paperboats--which are believed to be a way of releasing souls from purgatory.
The Introspection Day falls in the fifteenth day of the seventh moon. It is an important Budddhist festival, also referred to as Ullambana, when monks self-examine the Buddhist practice of the past year. On the day the monks and other Buddhists offer sacrifice to Buddha, make confessions and introspection. Among other rites are worshipping the images of Emperor Liang and Ksitigarbha so as to release the departed ancestors and starving souls from purgatory.
Ksitigarba's Birthday falls on the thirtieth (or twenty-ninth in a 29-day month) day of the seventh moon. It is believed to be the immortalization day of Jin Qiaojue, the Korean monk. On this day grand ceremonies are held on the Jiuhua Mountain.
Touring the mountain, one feels detached from reality and forgets all worldly cares.
It is a marvelous place for recuperation and the cultivation of one's moral character.
Jiuhua Mountain is not to be missed!
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