How many times a year do you go to visit the grave?
Some people may go once a month during the Obon festival, or three times in total for the Obon festival and the equinoctial week in spring and autumn.
We will introduce what kind of flowers are suitable, the way of thinking and the standard price.
There is basically no rule that the flowers you bring to the grave must be this.
You can buy the flowers that the deceased liked, or bring the flowers that you grew in your garden.
However, this is just a basic idea, and there are some points to be aware of.
It will be easier to understand if you think that it is free, but a little consideration is required.
A grave is usually the grave of another house next door, and the graveyard is managed by the operator.
Therefore, first of all, you must not bother others.
The flowers that you should not bring to the grave are "poisonous flowers", "thorny flowers", "too strong scented flowers", and "vine flowers".
Depending on the graveyard, the flowers offered to the grave may be cleaned up by the operator. Poisonous flowers have a negative effect on the body, and thorny flowers can cause injuries.
Avoid narcissus, lily of the valley, cluster amaryllis, and thorny roses and thistles, which are allegedly poisonous.
Flowers with a too strong scent may make people feel sick depending on their physical condition, and insects tend to approach them, so avoid them. Roses and lilies fall into this category.
In particular, it is necessary to note that lilies will stain and cannot be removed if pollen adheres to gravestones and clothes.
Flowers with vines may wrap around the grave or, due to their fertility, sometimes invade the grave next door. It can be said that morning glory and clematis are not suitable. However, if these flowers are included in the flowers that the deceased liked, you may be able to offer them with a little modification.
If it's a rose, ask a flower shop to pick up the thorns, if it's a lily, ask them to remove the pollen, and when you're done visiting the grave, take it home.
On the contrary, what kind of flowers are said to be suitable for visiting graves? Common ones are chrysanthemums, small chrysanthemums, gentian, gladiolus, carnations, etc.
Among them, chrysanthemums are said to dispel evil spirits and are also used as flowers for funerals, making them ideal as Buddhist flowers.
Another reason is that it is difficult for insects to approach and it lasts a long time. If you don't like chrysanthemums, of course you can use other types.
It's also a good idea to make the color refreshing and bright so that it doesn't look too plain or flashy. White, red, yellow, purple and pink are preferred.
If you have three colors, you should choose white, yellow, and purple. However, it is recommended to use only white or a shade based on white, as it is better to be modest until the 49th.
How much should I prepare when purchasing flowers or bringing them from home?
Basically, an odd number (3, 5, 7) is considered good.
I will insert it in a pair of flower stands (only the flower stands on the left side depending on the sect), but since the flower stands in the grave are not very large, bring as much as you can fit.
From this, it will not cost much. When it's time to visit the grave, each Buddhist flower is sold for about 300 to 800 yen, so buy two (one pair).
Depending on the content, you may need a little more, but it is worth using because you can ask the flower shop to tell you your budget and taste.
In some regions, artificial flowers are recommended instead of fresh flowers.
It has advantages such as not being damaged, not scattered, and odorless, and I hear that the number of people offering artificial flowers is increasing in recent years. However, if it is not widely generalized as a local custom, you still need to be careful.
Offering fresh flowers includes the teaching that "everything that has life will die someday", that is, the human world is immortal and ephemeral, so we should cherish our existing lives.
Pursuing convenience and efficiency is good, but each of the old customs has its own meaning, so be aware of that.
I mentioned earlier that basically any flower is fine, but there is one more point to consider.
That is to avoid being considered "naive" or "insane."
If you're in your own grave and you're the heir to the grave, you may not need to worry too much, but in your spouse's grave, your friend's grave, etc. It's important not to force yourself into the process and to adapt to the customs of the house.
Also, even if it is a grave of your own house, it is a good idea to match it with the elderly relatives so that only you do not float in the memorial service where many relatives gather.
If you think "this person is insane", I'm sorry for the ancestors in the grave.
So far, I've talked about how to choose flowers from various angles, but be sure to clean the grave before offering flowers.
If the previous flower remains dead in the flower stand, the flower you brought with you will be ruined.
After removing the dirt with a soft sponge or towel, gently wipe it with a dry towel to prevent moss from growing.
Let's offer flowers in a neat and clean state by weeding the surroundings. It feels good to take away the garbage from cleaning as much as possible.
It doesn't matter that the flowers offered to the grave are basically anything.
Anything is fine as long as you have the feeling of offering and thanking your ancestors. I think it is important for the deceased to remember that he liked such flowers and to think about his days with the deceased. Please choose flowers with all your heart for the next equinoctial week and Obon festival.