Bon Festival is one of religious
customs for the ancestor memorial service.
It is carried out in July in a part of Tokyo, Yokohama and etc. but in
the remaining part of Japan, it is carried out in August.
On Aug. (or Jul.) 13th,
ancestors are welcomed with Mukae-bi
(spirit-welcoming fire) and let them stay with their family. On Aug. (or Jul.) 16th, ancestors
are sent with Okuri-bi (bonfire for
the spirit of the dead).
Both of Mukae-bi
and Okuri-bi are prepared in front of
house-entrance by burning Ogara
(barked stem of the hemp) or cut pine tree.
(spirit-welcoming fire) is sign-spot for ancestors
not to go to a wrong house and also has meaning of welcoming.
Okuri-bi (bonfire for the spirit of the dead) is to send ancestors. Okuri-bi
in Kyoto is very famous and lots of tourists visit there.
To my regret, this custom itself has
not become common recently. But lots of
companies provide holidays during 13th and 16th of Aug.
as Bon-holidays, so lots of families
come back to their hometown, show their kid(s) to their parents and visit their
All of railways, airplanes and
high-ways are very jammed during Bon-holidays, so it is better to postpone the
trip plan if you have.
During Bon-festival, Bon-odori (traditional
dance festival) is planned at a nearby temple, primary school or park. If you have chance, please join it for your