Obon, the festival for the ancestors in Japan

2019年 07月02日

There are the festivals in the honour of the dead persons as like other countries. In Japan, this periode is very important for the families. The festival for the ancestors (dead persons) Obon in Japanese, takes place in August, most of the case and generally it is from 13th to 15th of August. Obon is a good opportunity to be united in a family and to be gathered for paying tribute to the family of the deceased. Accordingly, many persons take holidays and go back to their home regions. We set many offerings as flowers, incense sticks and many foods near butsudan (Buddhist altar at home for the memory of the dead persons). 

The lanterns of Obon

This Buddhist festival has its origin in China and it was introduced to Japan in around 1500, then it was mixed with Japanese traditions of the New Year.

The offerings placed in front of the altar of each family avails to alleviate the suffering of the souls in the Hereafter. The vegetables are placed very close to the butsudan and the each of them has a particular meaning. The cucumber represents the back of the fast horse, which allows to the family of the deceased to go back to their homes. The aubergine represents the back of the cow, which takes the dead persons to the heaven very slowly at the end of the Obon.

The lighting lanterns lumineuses of Obon floating in the lake

Many folk dances, as like awa-odori, are performed in order to welcome and to guide the ancestors. The choreofraphies are accompagnied with the traditional  Japanese music resonating all the cities. 

The okuri-bi, which means "fire for seeing off" are small lanterns which sometimes in the shape of the boats, are floated in the sea. This act is for wishing the nice trip to the heaven for the spilits and for lighting up the way of the journey to the Hereafter.

Today, this festival became a celebration of the happy summer.

Feux d'artifice durant le festival
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