Flower Arrangement Festival
The largest festival of the Saga Goryu ikebana (flower arrangement) school falls on the anniversary of the death of Emperor Saga, the founder of Daikaku-ji, and features a flower exhibition on the grounds of the temple; one of the twice-a-year occasions of crossing the Osawa-no-ike Pond on a Ryuto-gekishu-sen boat; floral-tribute ceremony and tea ceremony reminding you of Heian Emaki (Picture of Lives of the Heian Period); and several other services, all of which are held in a graceful atmosphere.
Yoi-Kobo is an important Buddhist service held once in a year when Kobo-Daishi prays for protection from evil and for good luck. You can pray for the health of your family by offering votive lanterns to the altar at the Osawa-no-ike Pond and enjoy the beauty of the Bon Fire of Saga with an endless number of lanterns floating on the pond.
Kangetsu-no-yube (Moon-viewing party)
Kangetsu-no-yube (Moon-viewing party) began when Emperor Saga floated a boat on the Osawa-no-ike Pond on the night of the harvest moon and had a party with persons of culture and aristocrats. Enjoy the precious occasion when you can see both the brilliant moon in the night sky and the reflection on the calm surface of the water. An altar from where you can view the moon is set up and Buddhist service under the moon (6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) is held during the term.
Saga-giku is a wild chrysanthemum inherent in Saga that grew naturally in the age of Emperor Saga on Kiku-ga-jima Island in Osawa-no-ike Pond. This event is a public exhibition held on the grounds of Daikaku-ji showing the various tastes of saga-giku.
Hoshiku and Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra Service (Setsubun)
Setsubun means “seasonal watershed,” representing the first days of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. It is said that the event of driving away demons by throwing beans became popular around the Edo period, based on the combination of a ritual to drive away evil at court at the end of December in the Heian period and the custom of welcoming God for purification among the common people.