Obon festival 2021 August 13-15 | Download Photos, Images and Wallpapers

Obon festival

Obon is a celebration of the commemoration of the deceased in Japan. Obon is one of the most famous Japanese holidays. In Obon, it is believed that the souls of the deceased return to the living to see their loved ones.

Often, Obon is called the Lantern Festival, since the Japanese hang out lanterns so that their relatives' souls can find a way to their house. The traditions of ancient Japan and Buddhist customs intertwined in Obon. 


Earlier, when Japan was much more traditionalist and conservative, Obon was celebrated from the thirteenth to the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. With the country's transition to the Gregorian calendar, opinions about when it is correct to remember the departed were divided. 

Some continued to celebrate the holiday on the thirteenth of the seventh month, which this time was July, so did the residents of some areas of Tokyo, Yokohama, and Tohoku. Others living in northern Kanto, Okinawa, and some small islands prefer the old date.

However, most of the population of Japan chose dates from August 13 to 15, which are considered the official days of Obon, the Starfall of the last month of summer reaches its peak. Over time, meteor showers firmly and becomes a part of the holiday, becoming symbols of the souls of the departed.

Interesting facts about this festival

On holiday days, the streets of Japanese cities are illuminated by lighting poles' lights. Each house is decorated with traditional lanterns to Obon, which also hangs the spaces of local cemeteries.

Japanese also make bonfires near their dwellings in unique metal urns, which is especially impressive in poor and ancient areas with tiny one-story houses, which, in terms of the atmosphere for evening silence, sends entire neighbourhoods to the distant past.

Also, the monks in the Buddhist temples read holy books; the Japanese bring offerings for their relatives to the altars. In the evenings in the parks, they conduct traditional Bon Odori dances, which are performed to calm their ancestors' souls. Most often, the dance is performed in a traditional yukata.

A unique feature of this holiday is the traditional Bon Odori dance. Fascinating, like other Japanese dances, it is performed only on the occasion of Obon and plays a ritual role in expressing gratitude to the souls of ancestors. 

The dance is performed to folk music in traditional yukata, it has some unique features in every region of Japan. The yukata is supplemented with black panels with slits for the eyes on the faces and decorated with flowers hats or tenugui towels. In some places, the dance is held as a city procession; in other places, people dance around a pedestal called "jagura," which hosts musicians.

The holiday closes with a spectacular gala event called Toro Nagashi. Japanese rivers and bays are filled with many thousands of floating lanterns that turn local ponds into original fire containers. 

This ritual is carried out even in those regions of the Land of the Rising Sun, where the launch of paper lanterns, in principle, is not something traditional and, as a result, does not occur during other holidays.

Also, in the days of Obon, altars are built in Japanese homes so that the spirits of the ancestors who come to visit and settle in the family houses on Obon are satisfied with the warmth of receiving the living. This is one of the Japenese beliefs.

Wrapping up

This is all about the Obon festival that is celebrated in Japan. Hope this article sounds interesting for you. Cheers!!

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Obon festival 2021 August 13-15 | Download Photos, Images and Wallpapers Obon festival 2021 August 13-15 | Download Photos, Images and Wallpapers Reviewed by sanju on July 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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