Blossoms wrapped in paper, incense smoke swirling upwards, families kneeling graveside with hands together in prayer, the sound of beating drums; these are the images, sounds and scents from the temple across the street on this day of ohigan, March 20, which has its roots in Buddhist teachings. It's a national holiday in Japan, shunbun no hi, and is the time to celebrate the spring equinox as well. Many visit their family graves and offer prayers. Another typical offering is ohagi, a sweet mochi rice cake covered with sweetened azuki bean paste. I offer some sweets, chrysanthemums and incense to our family Buddhist altar and pay my respects.