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O-Bon (Lantern Festival)

Traditional Annual Events

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O-Bon(Lantern Festival)

Dates: July 13th-15th
Place: All over Japan

O-Bon is a Buddhist ceremony for welcoming back and appeasing the souls of our ancestors. The formal name of this festival is Ura-Bon. Depending on the region, the Bon Festival may be held one month later, during August 13th-15th. Generally, a mukaebi fire is lit in front of the gate early on the evening of the 13th to receive the souls of the ancestors. At the same time, a Buddhist priest chants sutras in front of the Shoryodana or 'Shelf of Souls,' where offerings of fruit and vegetables are placed. On the evening of the 16th, an okuribi fire is lit to see off the souls of the ancestors.

Traditional Annual Events