KodoKyodan is abuzz with religious activities throughout the year. It seems not even a single day passes when some activity or event is not on at the KodoKyodan headquarters or at one of its branches.
The temple is open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Morning service begins at 8:30 followed by meditation and testimonials by members.
The first day of every month is Mahakala Day. The Mahakala temple is opened for believers and the president to give a sermon. The President also gives a sermon on the first, second, and the third Sunday and the ninth day of every month. The ninth day of every month is celebrated as Thanks Giving Day. Itmarks the FounderPresidents’ door-to-door campaign to collect funds for the construction for the Buddha Relics Tower. The disciples conduct special prayers in front of the mausoleum of the Founder Presidents.
New Year’s Day
On January 1stthe Presidents conduct the New Year’s Day service and prays for world peace. The general public, members, and the heads of Kodosanbranches from all over Japan participate in the service.
Coming of Age Day
Young men and women who have just entered twenty years of age celebrate the Coming of Age Day on January 15. They are seated in the Main Hall in the front row before the altar for benediction. The President blesses them with a holy staff and the Vice Present presents mementos.
Winter Spiritual Training
Winter Pilgrimage is practiced for the whole month of February to impart self-discipline. Every morning, the Main Hall is packed with the believers. The service begins with the recitation of the Lotus Sutra from half past eight to half past nine. Testimonials of believers, a meditation session, and a sermon by the Presidentfollows.
The Great Nirvana Service
The day of Pari-Nirvana or Lord Buddha’s death is celebrated on February 15. The Presidents preside over a solemn service and pray before the Ｎehan-zu, a hanging picture symbolizing the passing away of the Buddha. After the service, the President gives a sermon.
Higan Religious Services
Higanis a typical Japanese Buddhist service conducted on the days of the Spring and Autumn equinoxes. On the equinox, day and night are equal, and it symbolizes the Buddhist concept of the Middle Way. The Presidentofficiates a service and gives a sermon on the significance of Higan.
Kodosan Flower Festival (Hanamatsuri)
The Kodosan Flower Festival is celebrated in the first week of April to commemorate the birth of Lord Buddhaand coinciding with the annual opening of the cherry blossoms in the Spring. A parade and a Kanbutsu ceremony of pouring sweet tea(amacha) over the statue of Baby Buddha are the main attractions of the Festival. Five pavilions are built on the premises of the temple depicting various aspects of the life and teachings of Lord Buddha. Numerous paper lanterns are lit up on the way leading to the temple.
Respect for the Senior Citizens Day
A meeting of the Senior Citizens Wagenshu is held in May. The President gives a sermon and various entertainment activities are organized to encourage them.
The Propagation Congregation takes place in May. On this day believers take a vow to propagate the teachings of Lord Buddha.
Thanksgiving Ceremony, Kojun-no-hi, is celebrated in June to express gratitude to the late Founder Presidents. Representatives of all the groups and associations offer flowers, incense, tea, candles, and special vegetarian meals to the Founder Presidents.
Spiritual Training Camps
In July and August, training camps for different Kodo Groups are held at the KodoKyodan training Center in Hayama, near Kamakuralooking out on the Pacific Ocean.
Memorial Service of the Founder President
The disciples and believers make special prayers on August 15 to commemorate the death of the Founder President.
Kodosan Obon Festival
The Obon Dance takes place for three consecutive nights centering around August 18.
Pilgrimage to Mt. Hiei, Kyoto
In September, more than one thousand Kodosan members pay a visit to Enrayakuji temple in Kyoto, the headquarters of Tendai Buddhism. The purpose of this pilgrimage is to impart the teachings of Buddhism.
September 23 marks the Autumnal equinox day. One this day, the President presides over a service and gives a sermon.
Kodosan Women’s Day
The birthday of Founder Vice President Kimiko Okano on October 27 is celebrated as KodoKyodan Women’s Day. Many cultural activities are organized on this day.
YouthDay is celebrated in October to promote friendship among the youth. Kodo groups and regional branches put up stalls highlighting their activities and conveying the message of peace and friendship.
In honor of the god Mahakala, the Mahakala Festival is celebrated for two consecutive days in the first week of November. Various KodoKyodan groups put up stalls selling many articles of daily use and eatables. The people from the neighbourhoods and believers participate in the festival. The proceeds of the festival are used for charitable activities.
Buddha’s Enlightenment Service
December 8 is celebrated as Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment Day. The President and the disciples officiate the Buddha’s Enlightenment Service. After the service, the President explains the meaning of Lord Buddha’s Enlightenment.
Founder Vice President’s Memorial Service
The co-founder of Kodo Kyodan, Rev. Kimiko Okano, passed away on December 21, 1976. The disciples and members make special prayers on this day.
Year End Ringing of the Bell Ceremony
On New Year’s Eve people line up to ring the Bell of Peace around midnight. The bell is rung hundred and eight times to eliminate 108 defilements that man is said to be afflicted with. People also pray for a prosperous New Year.