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Obon Festival: History and Significance of the Bon

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Obon Festival

Obon (お盆) Festival is an every-year Japanese ritual seen from the 13th to the 15th of the 7th lunar month. This year, the holiday will be celebrated from August 13 to 15. It can likewise be held from July 13 to 15, contingent upon the calendar utilized.

Obon is like Mexico’s Day of the Dead and China’s Hungry Ghost Festival. During the three-day festivities, the Japanese invite the spirits of their dead ancestors and rekindle their connections.

In spite of the fact that it’s a festival cherishing death, Obon is more enjoyable than dreadful. Individuals take part for the sake of entertainment exercises, folk dance, and music events. They visit and clean the graves of the ancestors, light ‘chochin’ lanterns, and eat traditional dishes.

The official dates are August 13-15 however it will be celebrated between July 13-15 in certain spots. The Obon week in mid-August is one of Japan’s three significant holiday seasons making it one of the most active seasons for traveling. Numerous Japanese individuals will leave their cities around August 10 and return on August 17-18.

Obon, likewise now and then known as “Bon,” is a conventional Buddhist holiday celebrated in Japan as well as in quite a bit of East Asia. The holiday comprises a three-day festival that honors ancestral spirits and pays respect to the dead.

Obon outgrew Buddhist traditions while likewise incorporating elements from Shinto, a folk religion native to Japan. Festivals are a critical part of Japanese culture, with noticeable festivals including Obon, Hanami, and even Christmas!

The origins of Obon

This Buddhist festival has been celebrated for over 500 years. It begins from the story of Maha Maudgalyayana (Mokuren). He was a disciple of Buddha who utilized his powers to see the spirit of his deceased mother. He found she had fallen into the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and was suffering.

Buddha advised Mokuren to make offerings to Buddhist monks. On the 15th day of the 7th month, he heeded Buddha’s advice and his mom was released from her suffering. Mokuren hit the dance floor with bliss which is the beginning of the Obon dance.

The History of Obon

Obon has its origins in a Buddhist myth. The story goes that Maha Maudgalyayana, a disciple of the Buddha, utilized his powers to view his deceased mother, and was distressed to figure out that she was languishing in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a shadowy underworld full of suffering.

The Buddha instructed his disciple to make offerings on the 15th day of the 7th month to Buddhist monks getting back from their summer retreat. Thusly, Maha Maudgalyayana had the option to free his mother, after which he hit the dance floor with happiness. This dance is supposed to be the origin of the Obon festival.

Obon has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years. During Obon, individuals get some margin to honor their ancestors. It is accepted that the departed spirits of family members and friends and family return to visit the living nowadays. After some time, it has developed into a family holiday where individuals offer appreciation to the dead and celebrate with their relatives.

Individuals frequently visit the graves of their ancestors to perfect and clean them. During this time, ancestral spirits are remembered to journey to their household altars in special raised areas prior to advancing back to their graves.

As Obon has advanced throughout the centuries, it has come to incorporate numerous other traditional festival aspects, including carnivals, games, and festival foods. Participants frequently wear a customary festival dress, including light summer kimonos known as yukata. Obon is normally viewed as a family-oriented holiday, with many individuals traveling from everywhere in the country to get back to their hometowns.

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