lantern floaing

Introduction

This section explains the Japanese tradition of Obon. The Obon is held every summer and is a time for people to get together with their relatives and have a meal together.

Story

Hello! Iroha! It's summer vacation, so let's go somewhere to have fun!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Tina! That's a great idea! When are you free?

Let's see, how about August 14 or 15?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Um…, sorry! It's Obon there, so I must go home and help!

Obon? What's that?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Obon is an event to honor the ancestors of the deceased, and it is held for a few days in the middle of August in many areas. In some places, it is held in July.

Iroha
Iroha

Some companies take a day off from work during Obon, so it is a good opportunity for all relatives to get together.

OK! So, you're going back to your parents' house!
But I wonder what on earth that is?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

There are many traditional events such as “Mukaebi” (welcoming fire), “Okuribi” (ceremonial fire), and “Bon Dance”.
A lot of people travel for the holidays!

There's a lot going on there.
Please tell me one by one.

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Okay!
First, look at this picture! It's a traditional Japanese dance, Bon Dance.

BonDance
Iroha
Iroha

There's a tradition of gathering at a shrine or temple on the night of the 16th to dance together.
You know, there's a lot of food stalls in squares and stuff these days!

Wow! I wish I could learn this dance and join the festivities!
They're all dancing and having fun!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

That's right! Let's practice together and join the Bon Dance!
Watch this video to learn!

Okay!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Next, I'll tell you about “Mukaebi” (welcoming fire), “Okuribi” (ceremonial fire)!
This is a part of the Obon festival, where we light a fire to welcome the spirits of our ancestors and send them back to the other side!

How do they do it?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

For example, the most famous is the Gozan Fire Festival in Kyoto!
Look at the pictures below!
This is setting fire to the top of the mountain!

Gozan mountain
Gozan mountain
Gozan Fire
Gozan Fire

Oh! How big that is!
It's like on fire, lol.

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Of course, They’re trying to keep it from catching on fire, so don't worry about it, lol.

Iroha
Iroha

There's also a tradition of pouring fire down the river, called "lantern floating".
It's like culturally it was thought that mountains and rivers had deceased people in them.

lantern floating
lantern floating

Wow! So beautiful!
This is going to be instagrammable!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Instagrammable?

Oh. It means this “lantern floating” is beautiful enough to put on Instagram!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Yeah, I see.

By the way, what does Iroha do to help at home?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Well…. Maybe we'll make an offering at our house.

I see. What does an offering look like?

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

That's what makes this so much fun! Look at this!

spirit horse

That cracks me up!
That's a stick in the vegetable, lol

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

This is called a spirit horse, and it's supposed to be a vehicle for the ancestors and the deceased to come and go.
We are not playing with food by any means, lol

I see!
You're going to decorate it!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

Yes!
Other than that, we're going to visit the graves of our ancestors!

grave in Japan
grave

Right!
It's an event to welcome your ancestors, so visiting their graves is important!

Tina
Tina
Iroha
Iroha

That's right! All my relatives are going to be there and I'm so excited!

Summary

Obon

Obon in Japanese
Obon in Japanese

A series of events held during the summer months to honor the spirits of ancestors. The time of year and the number of days it is held varies from region to region. The average family gathers together with relatives at this time of year to visit the graves and make a memorial service for the spirits of their ancestors.

Bon Dance

Bon Dance in j\Japanese
Bon Dance in Japanese

Bon Dancing was originally a religious event to welcome back the spirits of the ancestors who came back to Obon, and since anyone can participate in this dance and it was a dance to remember the ancestors and make a memorial service, there are still places where people wear masks and masks.

BonDance

Mukaebi ( welcoming fire )

Mukaebi in Japanese
Mukaebi in Japanese

It is a fire used to welcome guests and spirits. It is also used for welcoming guests, weddings, and funerals, but it generally refers to the burning of a fire at Obon to welcome the spirits of the ancestors.

Okuribi (ceremonial fire)

Okuribi in Japanese
Okuribi in Japanese

This is one of the events of Obon, an event to send the souls of the dead back to the other world after they return to Obon. The scale of the ceremony varies from family porches and gardens to community events. There are two main types of large scale ceremonies: Mountain ceremonies and Ocean ceremonies. This year's examples were the Bonfire of Gozan and the Floating Lantern.

Gozan Fire for Okuribi
Gozan Fire
lantern floaing
Lantern Floating

Shoryo-uma (spirit horse)

spirit horse in Japanese. called Shoryo-uma
spirit horse in Japanese

It is a vehicle for welcoming and sending your ancestors to be displayed at the Obon festival. It is also a report of the summer harvest and is made mainly of summer vegetables, cucumbers, and eggplants.
It is called Shoryo-uma in Japanese.

"Shoryo" is meaning "spirit"
"uma" is meaning "horse"

spirit hoorse
spirit horse

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Iroha
Iroha

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