Down the street from our house is a Buddhist Temple. It's really a great set-up, especially for those houses directly next to the temple. I mean, what could be better than neighbors whose primary activities are meditating and seeking peace? The monks have taken over a corner lot and house, which appears to have been a private home at one point (including an attached RV garage, but I'm guessing the monks aren't tooling around in a Westphalia.)
In the couple of months that we've been at this house, we've seen a few events go on at the temple. There was something like a high holiday or possibly it was a wedding one day. There were people processing around the outside of the temple, in what I assume in a labyrinth or meditation garden of some sort ( its a little hard to tell now that the leaves have fallen and the vegetation is dormant for winter). They were carrying flowers and fruit and bags of rice, and were out there for several hours. The monks have, at other points, raised colorful cloth flags and draped swaths of cloth around the hitch rail fence that borders their property. I don't know much about Buddhism, but the shrines on their property are similar to the ancestor shines and shines of Buddha we saw in Thailand last year, including the 10 foot gold statue in front. We also see the monks, in their saffron robes, coming and going every once in a while, although its a pretty small temple, and I think the monk population around here is pretty limited.
On the whole, it appears to be a pretty legit Buddhist temple.
So, it was rather surprising to us last week when we turned down our street to find...
Temple attendees wrapping Buddah in Christmas lights (which, to the best of my knowledge, have yet to be turned on, so no photo, but if they go on, be sure I'll update!)
Merry Christmas, everyone, including, apparently, you Buddhists!