Sunday, August 16, 2009

farewell to all the deceased spirits

Well, it's about the last day of "Obon".
Today, after three days of receiving the ancestors spirits at our house altar, giving the small set of meals three times each day, we then sent them off to their world of the dead by visiting a temple with some incenses from our house altar, which is believed that spirits come along in lights of incenses to the family grave at the temple.

Well, this is a very common way of sending the spirits off and there are also many other ceremonies held at very historical and famous temples all over Japan. One of the most impressive event is one I saw in Kyoto. It's called Gozan-no-Okuribi(roughly sendoff fires on five mountains). At around 8 o'clock in the evening, the giant fires in the shape of five different Chinese characters and images on the hillside of five surrounding mountains in Kyoto are lit one after another.
This event has been long held for centuries. Tourists as well as local residents gather at many locations in the city to see Okuribi and send off their ancestor spirits. Here are the pictures I took from the hotel roof top when I went to see it with my daughter.


Dionne said...

Oh wow! How amazing to see the characters lit up on the hillside!

katztales said...

It looks awesome. What do the characters mean?

Little Miss Tiara said...

ooo! Tiara misses you! *hugs
the characters are so cool! I love anything related to lights :p I always loves how creative japanese are to celebrate everything

Anya said...

Never seen such characters ,
very interesting :)
Thanks for sharing those beautiful words and pictures :)))

Pamela said...

Thank you for sharing a part of your culture with us!! It's so fascinating!