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.
Hello! Iroha! It's summer vacation, so let's go somewhere to have fun!
Tina! That's a great idea! When are you free?
Let's see, how about August 14 or 15?
Um…, sorry! It's Obon there, so I must go home and help!
Obon? What's that?
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.
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?
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.
First, look at this picture! It's a traditional Japanese dance, Bon Dance.
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!
That's right! Let's practice together and join the Bon Dance!
Watch this video to learn!
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?
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!
Oh! How big that is!
It's like on fire, lol.
Of course, They’re trying to keep it from catching on fire, so don't worry about it, lol.
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.
Wow! So beautiful!
This is going to be instagrammable!
Oh. It means this “lantern floating” is beautiful enough to put on Instagram!
Yeah, I see.
By the way, what does Iroha do to help at home?
Well…. Maybe we'll make an offering at our house.
I see. What does an offering look like?
That's what makes this so much fun! Look at this!
That cracks me up!
That's a stick in the vegetable, lol
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
You're going to decorate it!
Other than that, we're going to visit the graves of our ancestors!
It's an event to welcome your ancestors, so visiting their graves is important!
That's right! All my relatives are going to be there and I'm so excited!
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 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.
Mukaebi ( welcoming fire )
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)
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.
Shoryo-uma (spirit horse)
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"
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