Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Obon and my Busy August

The Obon week in mid August is one of Japan's three major holiday seasons, so transportation get really busy to visit loved ones. It is an annual Buddhist event for commemorating our ancestors, as their spirits believed to return this world in order to visit their relatives. I take this season kind of sacred.

This kind of special lanterns (pic from pc-site) for Obon are put in front of the family altar (2 for one set). And we have our family monk's visits to recite Buddhist sutras. Today, our family monk visited us, (haha, too early but ours is the first house for him to visit his supporters). And we visit family grave yard. Obon is one of three occasions to pay ancestors a visit besides Higan (two periods of seven days with the middle day falling on the spring or autumn equinox). First Obon after death is usually commemorated like the other set memorial service year. My brother who was single died last year, I'm supposed to hold "first Obon" and "first year memorial service" for him this year.

I've already posted about memorial services →here  these occasions are really good chances to get together and see relatives. I wonder if there're occasions  for relatives (in remembrance of the ancestors) to get together  in western cultures.  
Anyways, I will have to spend a bit busy August.  

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