Autumn Higan (Autumn Equinox)

Higan services are observed twice a year during spring and autumn equinoxes when days and nights are of equal length. "Higan" literary means "the other shore", the world of enlightenment. This word is actually an abbreviation for "to-higan" which means "Reaching the other shore". It is said that the origin of this service is to turn thoughts toward The Western Pure Land of Amida Buddha through the sun sets in due west during this season. Thus, this period is to concentrate practicing and to reflect on the Buddha Dharma which leads us from "this shore" of our world to "the other shore" of Buddha's enlightenment.
In the teaching of Shin Buddhism, we are able to be born in the Pure Land and become the Buddha through Amida Buddha's working. Therefore, we regard this Higan observance as important opportunities to praise the virtue of Amida Buddha and to listen to his guidance which makes us walk the right path.