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If you have ever wanted to know more about the Obon holidays, you are in the right place.
This is inside Japan.
Obon, along with Golden Week and the year end holidays, are the three periods of time that the majority of Japan is on vacation.
Many large chain stores remain open, but most businesses both large and small, are closed allowing people to return to their hometown or travel elsewhere.
That being said, airfare is high and accommodations can be harder to come by.
All that aside, what exactly is Obon?
Japan celebrates many holidays that originate from all over the world.
Obon is no exception.
Obon is a Buddhist/Confucian holiday, which is sometimes referred to as Bon.
Originally, it came from the Ullambana festival from India, but much like Dia de los Muertos in Latin America, Obon is a holiday to honor family that have passed away as well as ancestors.
This holiday has been celebrated in Japan for over 500 years.
Although most holidays lasts one day, Obon is a three-day holiday.
Traditionally in Japan, it was celebrated on the fifteenth day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.
At the beginning of the Meiji era, Japan changed to the Gregorian calendar.
This caused Obon to be celebrated at three different times depending on the region.
These three different times are Shichigatsu bon, Hachigatsu bon and Kyu bon.
Kyu bon uses the traditional dates and is celebrated in the Chugoku, Shikoku and the northern Kanto regions as well as in the Okinawa prefecture.
Shichigatsu bon is based off the solar calendar and is celebrated around July 15th.
This is when many people from the Tohoku region and part of the Kanto region celebrate it.
Hachigatsu bon is based off the lunar calendar and is celebrated around August 15th.
This is when most Japanese people celebrate it.
Even though it is not considered a public holiday, most people are given leave during obon.
During this time people return to their ancestors' homes and have a family reunion.
Many families spend time with each other as well as clean their ancestor's graves.
Some adults might even use this time to see old friends.
Also, many local festivals take place during this time.
The lanterns during this festival are said to guide the spirits to their families.
For this reason, some lanterns are placed in homes.
In some festivals Yaguras are constructed.
A yagura is a small tower or bandstand used to hold traditional drums and drummers.
This type of drum is known as taiko.
People do a traditional dance around the yagura to the beat of the taiko drums.
This type of dance is called bon Odori.
The places that don't use yaguras dance in a straight line down the street.
During these festivals many people can be seen wearing yukatas.
A yukata is traditional Japanese clothing very similar to a kimono but the overall differences are that it is lighter, made from cotton, and more casual.
Even though Obon does deal with death, it is not supposed to be a time of fear or sorrow, but a time of celebration.
This was Inside Japan, and thanks for watching.


【英語で聞いてみよう】日本のお盆 (What You Need To Know About Obon お盆)

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Courtney Shih 2019 年 8 月 1 日 に公開    yunfeicheng1 翻訳    Yukiko チェック
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