Presentation on theme: "Festival of the dead. July 15 (Lunar calendar), or August 15 (Solar calendar) is celebrated in Japan as "Bon" or Urabon, The Feast of Lanterns, especially."— Presentation transcript:
Festival of the dead
July 15 (Lunar calendar), or August 15 (Solar calendar) is celebrated in Japan as "Bon" or Urabon, The Feast of Lanterns, especially by the Japanese Buddhists. It is said that during the year, on this day only, the iron pot in hell is opened for the deceased. Buddhist services are held at temples and private houses for ancestors, relatives and friends who died in the past, and particularly for those who passed away during the past year. The particular feature of Obon is the offering of various foodstuff to the deceased, and of course all those who as emble for the service will partake of special food prepared for the day. This is because Obon originated in a Buddhist legend.
Festival of the dead Obon used to be quite an important social event, and for attending the family Obon service, such persons engaged in works away from their native places invariably returned home. To factory and shop apprentices or household maids, Obon and January 15 were only two holidays in the whole year, when they were permitted to return home to their parents.
Festival of the dead Eager to guide properly the spirits of ancestors on the day, it is customary to light lanterns at all houses. Some such lanterns were formerly very elaborate, especially made for the occasion. The most important feature of the service is the offering of food. Therefore to the ancestors are offered rice, vegetables, fruits, cakes, sweets and flowers. There are prepared special foods to be served to invited guests and friends. It is the spirit of giving food to fellow people that lies under this religious service. It is religious day, but also quite a joyful social occasion.
Festival of the dead In the Hiroshima area, coloured paper lanterns are lighted at the ancestral graves. The white ones are for those who passed away during Aug. 16 of the previous year till Aug. 15 of this year
Festival of the dead "Toro-Nagashi" or lantern floating is the picturesque ending to the Obon service. To guide the ancestral spirits back to the other world, little floats are lighted with candles and floated down rivers or on the sea. People eagerly watch them float down the river or carried by the wind far away from the shore.
Festival of the dead "Bon-Odori" or Bon dance, a religious folk dance, was originally given to comfort the spirit of the dead during the o-bon season. It is enjoyed by men, women, and even little children. It differs naturally according to locality, as each district has its own songs and styles of dancing. Recently many modern or even foreign songs and dances have been introduced to these programmes. It is generally held in temple or shrine compounds sea or river shores or other convenient public places. A raised tower-like stand is erected and around the stand the people dance all night with the music.
Modern day Japan Hiruki Family Tomb, Fukue, Nagasaki Prefecture, JapanFukue In Japan, in accordance with Buddhist tradition, the bones of a deceased family member are placed in an individual urn and kept with those of their ancestors in a family tomb (ohaka). Living family members visit the tomb on Ohigan (Spring and Fall Equinox) and during Obon (Festival of the Dead) in the summertime. Most Japanese people live in big cities these days, and must travel long distances to their ohaka, which tend to be in smaller cities and towns in the countryside. In families whose members live far away, not everyone can make it back to their ohaka for Obon every summer to pay their respects.Obon (Festival of the Dead)
Modern day Japan Every family member tries to make it back to the family tomb at some point during the week, so they can pay their respects to their ancestors. It is one of the few times in the year that grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandchildren can get together. Most Japanese don't live anywhere near their family tomb these days, so this means that every mode of transportation is very busy during this time. Avoid travelling in Japan during this week if at all possible, unless you like crowds and line ups!
Modern day Japan August is a hot, humid month in Japan The most comfortable of the socially acceptable things to wear is a yukata, a colorful light cotton kimono. The part of obon that the younger children (okay, AND the older "children") enjoy the most is lighting hanabi (firecrackers/fireworks, literally "flowery fire"). There is a constant hissing, popping and cracking over the course of the evening.yukata
Modern day Japan As the evening progresses, the lanterns glow ever more brightly. Once the incense and candles burn out, the lanterns are packed up and taken home, where chilled suika (watermelon) is waiting!