Monday, August 14, 2006

Obon Festival

From August 13 through 16 is called Obon in Japan, which is one of the important annual Buddhist events. However the period nowadays seems to be just a summer holiday season rather than a religious event to many people particularly younger generation and thus airports and train stations are over-crowded with people traveling to many places, some going back to their home town for family reunion, others just for sightseeing.

I myself don't believe in any specific religion but my and my husband's families are Buddhist, and so I went to a lecture given by a priest the day before yesterday and did visiting graves yesterday to call our ancestors soul back home with us. I guess they will stay with us during Obon. Visiting a grave always makes me feel getting the load off my shoulders and that's why I visit a grave from time to time. I can't explain it precisely but it is sure a good, pure, and mysterious feeling.

The summer in Japan (probably many other countries, too) gets hotter and hotter year after year. Yesterday the sky was very clear. The sun was shining without mercy and scorching us. I was exhausted after visiting 4 graves at a time. Therefore I had to give up "Rosoku-Maturi" held in Koyasan in the evening. I really wanted though. Maybe next year...
If you are interested in Japanese spiritual world, please visit the following website and click "Koyasan's Manto Memorial Service Ceremony" on the left.

http://www.shukubo.jp/eng/06_nittei.html

As I believe in reincarnation, at this time of the year, I often think who I was in the previous life and who I will be in the next world.