Obon

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The Bon Festival | Spirits of the Deceased Return

The Bon Festival | Spirits of the Deceased Return

Obon, celebrated either in July or August depending on the area, is a time when the Japanese commemorate their ancestors and believe the spirits of their deceased ancestors return to their homes and families. Obon takes place for about three days and has several customs. First, lanterns are hung on the entrances of homes to guide the spirits of their deceased ancestors back home. These lanterns are put in rivers and lakes after Obon to guide them back to the other world. Next, a dance called Bon Odori is very common throughout Japan. The dance welcomes the spirits of the deceased back to the world and varies by region. Finally, Obon is a time when many families in Japan visit their ancestors graves and cemeteries. A typical cemetery visit involves cleaning your ancestors' graves and leaving flowers and food offerings. Families not only visit graves but it is also customary for families to get together and spend time with their grandparents and extended family.

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