In August, Obon festivities take place all over Japan. It is a time to honor and pray for the spirits of one’s ancestors. During this period, spirits come back to earth to visit their relatives.
During Obon festival, incense is used to pray for ancestors’ spirits. In the Peko Peko Box of July 2021, we have included lotus incense, so don’t forget to subscribe before June 30th, 2021.
How to celebrate Obon?
Obon is a Buddhist festival that has been celebrated in Japan for over 500 years. It is held on the 15th day of the 7th month of the solar calendar, which corresponds to mid-August of the lunar calendar. The Obon festivities take place over three days, generally from August 13th to 16th. During Obon festivities, everything stops. Many stores are closed and Japanese people usually take time off to visit their families. Trains are therefore generally crowded, as are hotels. It is not the best season to travel to Japan.
During those festivities, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the spirits of the ancestors, dances are organized to welcome the spirits (dances styles varies depending on the region of Japan), families gather and make offerings on the tombs of the ancestors. Offerings usually consists of flowers, sake, and snacks and drinks that they used to enjoy. At the end of the festivities, lanterns are put in rivers and lakes to guide the spirits back to their world.
In Kyoto, on the last day of Obon is held Gozan no Okuribi. Giant firewoods are arranged in the shape of kanji characters and set on fire, on top of the mountains around Kyoto.
In the Peko Peko Box of July 2021, we have included lotus incense. During Obon festival, incense is used to pray for ancestors’ spirits. We have selected a lotus scent incense as lotus flowers bloom during summer, in July and August. The best places to enjoy them are Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, Mimurotoji Temple in Kyoto or Tozenji Temple in Nagano. Enjoy this refreshing scent of lotus flowers as part of your summer daily routine.
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