Friday, August 14, 2009

Now it's time to pray for our family ancestors

I believe owing to the unusual weather in our country for these days, several unexpected natural phenomena have taken place here and there such as the past heavy rainfall in the west part of Japan, the earthquake hitting some cities in the central part of Japan and at last the record-breaking summer heat in many cities and towns. These phenomena taken place in each area changed many people's lives into disastrous ones one day all of a sudden. Yet, time is just passing by. I really wish they get their usual lives back into normal as soon as possible.


From the early beginning of August, most Japanese are busy for a summer holiday. There are many ways to spend this holiday season but in fact there is the major event called "Bon" in our country. We call it in more casual way "O-bon". Obon is the event which is very important for us next to the New Year's Day. During the Obon holidays, we visit our family grave at each family temple and then a Buddist priest visit our home and pray for our ancestors at our family altar. So this time is not an exception. Most housewives are busy for getting prepared for "Obon" cleaning the house, cleaning the garden, getting fruits and other offerings to place on a family altar, visitng a temple to clean the grave and attend the ceremony to welcome the ancestors spirits at home and then having a priest at home. Every event takes place from the early beginning of August. I would say all these events are mostly on housewives' role. Of course a husband and children are glad to help his busy wife but as a matter of fact, there is not much they can really do.

Anyway the season of Obon is very busy for everyone, every family. Many young families in big towns are heading for their parents homes of local cities and towns to attend this Bon ceremonies along with their little children. For kids, this trip to their grandparents' are the great excitements as well as their young parents since this should be a big family and relatives reunion. As it is always the same, every transportation is packed with people and cars at the beginning and at the end of the Bon holidays. Gee, my family is so lucky in that we live close to my parents and the family temple.

We are ready for having a priest tomorrow and the final event falls on August 15th.
It is a good opportunity for every one to think back of the ones who used to be our members of the family and anyones who used to be very important to us. As for me, especially during Obon, I think of my dear grandparents so often. I have so many dear memories I spent with them.


Dionne said...

Wow, the priests must be so busy visiting all those homes! Do they get to them all in one day, or does it happen over a matter of weeks?

It's so important to remember the loved ones that have impacted our lives. I am glad that you get to take this time to honor them.

photojoy said...

Hi, Dionne! Thank you for checking my new post. How nice having blogfriends who visit me though I haven't been around my PC these days being tied up with my family event.

Yes, the priests are busy for these two days. Usually many priests from other temples came up to help visiting the individual house. We're so happy to have the priest we know quite well each other. After the prayers, we enjoy a little talk before he hurries to the next house.


That's a lovely tradition to remember & paying respect to family members who had passed away... Family communion is so important in your culture & tradition. Peace be with you always! Have a lovely new week as well~