Manitoba Buddhist Temple

Annual Events

A number of notable annual celebrations occur every year. Events and their approximate dates are listed below. Please check our service schedule for specific dates and times.

Shusho-ye (New Year's Day Service)

The New Year's Day service to reflect upon and correct our past mistakes and look forward to a better life in the new year. Reflection, hope and resolution are some of the basic elements of an active religious life.

Goshoki Ho-onko (thanks giving Service for Shinran Shonin)
A memorial service for Shinran Shonin, founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism. Ho-onko is a week-long observance from January 9 to the day he died on January 16, 1262. His followers gather to express their appreciation and thanksgiving for his efforts in making it possible for us to receive the love and joy of Amida Buddha.

Nehan-ye (Nirvana Day)

Shakyamuni Buddha passed away on February 15. This service is to remind us of Buddha's noble teachings and pay tribute to him. The followers of Jodo Shinshu revere Shakyamuni Buddha because He is the manifestation of Amida Buddha on this earth.

Spring Higan

The Spring Equinox Celebration Service takes place in fall and spring when both night and day are equal. Higan means crossing over to the "other shore". At this unique time of the year, the two shores of light and dark are so close to one another the passage back and forth is easier. The other shore referred to is Nirvana, or the Pure Land. Our forefathers thought this theme was so important, that they held this service twice annually.

Bathing the baby Buddha on Hanamatsuri, Manitoba Buddhist Temple


The “Flower Festival” is commemorated on this day to celebrate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became enlightened as Shakyamuni Buddha. The "hanamido" a miniature floral altar of bright flowers, provides the setting of the beautiful Lumbini Garden. The statue of the baby Buddha, illustrates the merits of Amida Buddha, reaching out to all beings. The pouring of sweet tea on the statue of baby Buddha (kambutsu) represents the gentle rain which fell on Lumbini's Garden that day.


Shinran Shonin was born at Hino, a few miles southeast of Kyoto on May 21, 1173. The birth of the founder of Jodo Shinshu, is commemorated annually on this day as an expression of joy and happiness.

Cemetery visits during Obon

Obon is a Japanese cultural tradition celebrating our ancestors. The true significance of Obon Service and Festival lies in the re-dedication of ourselves to the Buddhist way of life by reflecting upon the love, affection, compassion, and virtues that our parents, and others who have passed on before us, have given, while they were still alive.

Autumn Higan
Fall Equinox Celebration Service (see Spring Higan service)

Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada Day
The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada established JSBTC Day (formerly BCC Day) to commemorate the founding of Jodo Shinshu in Canada in October 1905.

Eitaikyo is an abbreviation of “Eitai Dokyo” which literally means the perpetual recitation of the sutras. The Perpetual Memorial service pays tribute to those who departed before us. Unlike other memorial services, which honour great historical personages like our founder Shinran Shonin (Hoonko), or individual family members like a 3rd Year Memorial Service, this one is temple specific. For many, many years now, families of temple members have been sponsoring their loved one’s names for addition to our Eitaikyo Book. The person’s name is entered into a book specifically set aside for this purpose and as part of the service, the Manitoba Buddhist Temple’s Eitaikyo Record Book is prominently displayed in the altar area. It is a great opportunity to, as a formal group, give thanks to those who have inspired us and given us the temple that we are lucky enough to have today.

Bodhi Day
Celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni) experienced enlightenment (December 8). This is the day that Prince Gautama Siddhartha attained enlightenment to become the Buddha, the Awakened one. Therefore, this day signified the dawn's on man's universal emancipation from suffering and ignorance. "Bodhi" in Sanskrit means enlightenment.

New Year's Eve at the Manitoba Buddhist Temple

Joya'e (New Year's Eve Bell Ringing)
This service is held at all temples on New Year's Eve when the old year is coming to a close. It expresses our thanks for Amida Buddha's guidance throughout the year. Traditionally, the New Year’s Eve temple-bell is rung 108 times to signify the number of human passions or defilements which each of us is said to possess. As the sound of the bell disappears into the quiet evening night, so too does the memories from the many events of the previous year as we begin the New Year with a clear mind and heart. However, in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, we are taught that we cannot truly rid ourselves of our blind passions. Instead, Shinran Shonin has shown us that what is important is to realize that we are limited beings full of blind passions and our rebirth into Amida Buddha’s Pure Land can only be achieved through the great working of Amida Buddha, or the Nembutsu itself.

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