Sho haku bai, in Japanese, means pine, bamboo and plum tree.
At wedding ceremonies in front of the Buddha, the bride and groom drink from three glasses. The first has the design of a pine tree - a symbol of longevity, as it remains green in all seasons. May the wedding be like this, maintain the freshness of the tenderness of that moment in all seasons of life. Never lose strength.
The second bowl is that of bamboo. There are several meanings related to bamboo - flexibility is the first. The bamboo bends and does not break. When we are flexible, we can lower ourselves without breaking. Worthy humility. It also represents respect for ancestry, for those who came before, as it grows in nodules, allowing the former to rise to the heavens. The third analogy is with spirituality. A bamboo blooms only every 150 years. Most of us have never seen the bamboo flower or its seeds. We usually plant seedlings. Whether they are seedlings or seeds, it takes five years, underground, to give the first shoots. Spiritual life is like that too.
The third bowl shows the design of a flowering plum tree. May the couple be able to go through the cold and icy winters of the losses and sufferings possible in an existence. We not only lose loved ones, but also dreams, ideals, expectations. Everything that reminds us of the cold of death. We crossed and blossomed again. They are the hope that they will be able to endure the seemingly unbearable and give life to their own life - as the plum does.
We can learn with the nature, we can be like the pine, the bamboo and the plum tree.