April 28, 2017

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Obon

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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:

bonteito 盆堤灯 retrieved from http://seo-afiriman.com/kaden/bonchochin/

bonteito 盆堤灯
retrieved from http://seo-afiriman.com/kaden/bonchochin/

In the evening of August 13th, people turn a light on bonteito to welcome the spirits of ancestors.

Shoryoba 精霊馬

Shoryoba 精霊馬

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.

Okuribi 送り火 Retrieved from http://www.shodo.co.jp/blog/hidai2009/2009/07/22/009%E3%80%80%E9%80%81%E3%82%8A%E7%81%AB.jpg

Okuribi 送り火 Retrieved from http://www.shodo.co.jp/blog/hidai2009/2009/07/22/009%E3%80%80%E9%80%81%E3%82%8A%E7%81%AB.jpg

On August 16th, people burn straw to send their ancestors back to the heaven.

Okuribi at Shitennoji in Osaka

Okuribi at Shitennoji in Osaka

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