What are Bon Festival Decorations in Japan?
If you’re interested in Japan, you may be curious about Bon Festival Decorations. The Bon Festival, or Obon, is a traditional Japanese holiday that honors the spirits of one’s ancestors. During this time, many families display various decorations to welcome their loved ones’ spirits back home.
Meaning and Origin of the Bon Festival
The Bon Festival has roots in Buddhist traditions, and it is believed that during this time, the spirits of the deceased return to the world of the living. The festival dates back to the 8th century and has since become a significant cultural event in Japan.
Duration and Customs of the Bon Festival
The Bon Festival is typically observed for three days, usually from August 13th to 15th. However, the specific dates may vary depending on the region in Japan.
During the Bon Festival, it is customary for families to visit their ancestral gravesites to pay their respects and clean the area. They may also offer food, incense, and flowers to the spirits of their ancestors. Additionally, many people participate in traditional Bon Festival dances called “Bon Odori” to honor their ancestors.
Types of Bon Festival Decorations
Flowers Used for Bon Festival Decorations
Flowers play an essential role in Bon Festival decorations, and many families decorate their homes and gravesites with specific flowers during the festival. One of the most popular flowers used for Bon Festival decorations is the “Higanbana” or Red Spider Lily. This flower is associated with death and the afterlife and is believed to guide the spirits of the deceased back to the world of the living.
Lanterns Used for Bon Festival Decorations
Lanterns are another common decoration used during the Bon Festival. Families may hang lanterns outside their homes or use them to illuminate the graves of their ancestors. One type of lantern used during the festival is the “Chochin,” which is a paper lantern with a bamboo frame. These lanterns may be decorated with various designs, including the family crest or the name of the deceased.
Floats Used for Bon Festival Decorations
In some regions of Japan, families may construct small floats called “Mikoshi” to carry their ancestors’ spirits during the Bon Festival. These floats are decorated with various symbols and designs and are paraded around the neighborhood during the festival. The Mikoshi is an essential part of Bon Festival customs and is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the community.
I hope this helps you better understand Bon Festival Decorations in Japan!
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Okey. This is YouTube video I made. If you see it, you can enjoy real Japanese Obon and paper Lantern system. I feel it it normal but you might feel it is interesting! Please enjoy!