March 06, 2016
Obon (お盆） is a group of consecutive holidays which occur in mid-August (between August 13 and 16) in Japan.
Obon originated from the buddist tradition for respecting one’s ancestors.
During Obon, it is common for Japanese people to go back to their hometowns to meet their parents and relatives.
There are people who go on vacation during Obon as well.
The traditional events which occur on Obon are usually as follows:
In the evening of August 13th, people turn a light on bonteito to welcome the spirits of ancestors.
They make shoryoba, which are vehicles for ancestors to come from heaven to Earth and then return back to heaven again.
People make shoryoba by sticking chopsticks to vegetables such as eggplants and cucumbers.
On August 16th, people burn straw to send their ancestors back to the heaven.