vendredi 15 août 2014

Obon (お 盆): The tribute to the dead in Japan

In Japan, from 13 to 16 July (according to the lunar calendar) and in some regions 11 to August 16 (according to the solar calendar) is celebrated Obon (お 盆), an semireligiosa holiday to honor tribute to the deceased.
This Buddhist tradition has finished forming part of Japanese culture. It was first held in early s.VII BC, and that those in the other world, "become" a few days to meet with their families.
These days, in spite of enjoying deceased have nothing sad, on the contrary, it is a good opportunity to meet the whole family from across the country, so we can honor all together to ancestors and thank them for all they did for us.
In front of the Buddhist altar, (仏 壇 - ぶ つ だ ん) is in each house, balls of rice, cucumbers and eggplants are put together with toothpicks. Cucumber illustrates a horse while eggplant cow. The dead horse come in because they want to meet with their families as soon as possible, and when they go make a cow mounted, slowly, to have time to say goodbye until next year.
Fire is also important these days. It starts with Mukae-bi (迎 え 火 - む か え び), fire welcome, placing lanterns at the entrance of each home so, guide the spirits home.
And off with the Gozan no Okuri-bi (送 り 火 - お く り び) farewell fire, burning some yellow paper. On this date (this year August 16) also ends with one of the most emblematic festivals of Kyoto, with 5 huge bonfires burned in the five hills surrounding the city, it is said that this is the signal for the deceased wax their families and return to your world.
This festival is celebrated on two dates. Depending on the area of ​​Japan where you are, you'll enjoy this show which is held by Japanese households. In the region of Kanto and Tohoku is celebrated in July following the lunar calendar and in most regions of Japanese and Kantai region is celebrated in August, following the lunar calendar.
The days of Obon are not the only days when the dead are remembered in this country but if you are a good opportunity to meet with the family all together and remember ancestors in a special way, and is done with joy, thanking for what they have done and for the gift of life that we have received.

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