Bon festival


Bon is Buddhist event occurring from the 13th to 16th of July or August
to hold a memorial service to the spirit of ancestors.
(its starting date varies within different regions of Japan)

It is said that the spirits of the dead return to the Buddhist family alters at this time
People lit fire or lanterns at the entrance to home,so the spirits do not lose their way.

The Buddhist family alters are tided up and vegetables and fruit are set out as offerings
and when Bon is over,the spirits are sent on their way.this called the escorting of the spirits
and fires to speed their seeing off are lit at entrances of homes and offerings are floated on rivers
and the ocean.

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During Obon period,it has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally
includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
The Bon dance tradition is said to have started in the later of Muromachi period(1467-1570) as a public entertainment.

Most Obon dances are to welcome the spirits of the dead.
People wear yukata or light cotton kimonos and line up in a circle around a high wooden scaffold
made called Yagura which is usually the bandstand for musician and singers of the Obon.
Each region has a local dance,as well as different music.

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