This evening, I headed down to Willen Lake for the annual Hiroshima Day ceremony. The air was warm, and a small crowd soon gathered around the pagoda. A series of Buddhist prayers, singing, and then blessings from other religions followed, all in front of a beautiful sunset backdrop. I’m generally not one for religion, but this was really nice to watch.
I’ve always found typically Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism to be so much more colourful and appealing than Christianity, the most popular religion in the UK. I think cathedrals and churches are quite scary compared to the colourful temples you see in places such as Nepal. Even the clothes worn and the decorations used seem like they would make small children grasp their parent’s hand a little tighter. Perhaps I am biased because I recently read The Da Vinci Code, or perhaps it’s because I’ve never had long term exposure to a religion other than Christianity or Judaism. Either way, if I were to ever become religious (which I wouldn’t), I’d certainly look to the East first.
The ceremony ended by floating lanterns on the lake; something reliably beautiful on any night. And then everyone slowly dispersed back to their homes, ready for the start of the working week. If I had any invested emotion in the religion or ceremony, I’d be able to tell you how I felt about the whole thing. But as it stands, I don’t really. So it was simply a pleasant end my short weekend.