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Admin | Created on Sunday, 03 April 2016
15 Aug 2019
10:00 to 18:00
Kyoto , Japan
Kyoto Various Venues

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Obon Festival will be held 15 Aug 2019 in Kyoto, Japan.
Obon Festival is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating one's ancestors. It is believed that each year during obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors' spirits, obon dances (bon odori) are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples. At the end of Obon, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas in order to guide the spirits back into their world. The customs followed vary strongly from region to region. Obon is observed from the 13th to the 15th day of the 7th month of the year, which is July according to the solar calendar. However, since the 7th month of the year roughly coincides with August rather than July according to the formerly used lunar calendar, Obon is still observed in mid August in many regions of Japan, while it is observed in mid July in other regions. Obon Festival is an event and I like events...

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A Family Affair:

The Obon Festival has transformed into a family reunion of sorts. It’s common for urban dwellers to visit their hometowns and adorn their ancestors' graves with flowers, and many homes have altars dedicated to the spirits with food offerings and chochin lanterns. One of the most common and beautiful rituals is releasing toro nagashi (floating lanterns) into the ocean, rivers and lakes, carrying the spirit of ones ancestors back to the afterlife. Fire also plays a central role and is used in purification ceremonies (most temples have a candle-lighting ceremony).


Awa Odori in Obon Festival 2017:

The Awa Odori is perhaps the best part of the Obon Festival and takes place every August 13th through the 15th at Tokushima on Shikoku Island. Though the island’s population is only around 250,000, nearly 1.3 million visitors attend every year. The rowdy, street-dancing riot of color and culture originated in 1586, when a feudal lord hosted a sake-drenched party of epic proportions to inaugurate the Tokushima Castle. The ancient rules were strict: dancing in the streets was only allowed for these 3 days, samurai were only permitted to dance at home with the door closed, and there was no dancing at temples or with swords or masks.


Obon Festival 2017 Shifting Dates:

The Obon Festival lasts for 3 days and is celebrated at different times in different regions. Due to a shift from the lunar to the Gregorian calendar, there can be up to three different dates. Shichigatsu Bon (Bon in July) is celebrated in eastern cities such as Tokyo on July 15th. Hachigatsu Bon (Bon in August) and Kyu Bon (Old Bon) are based on the lunar calendar, and both are usually celebrated around August 15th. That can change yearly, however, so it’s best to check in advance.





Venue of Obon Festival

Kyoto Various Venues
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

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