Sunday, July 13, 2008

Obon - お盆


Around July 15 is Obon in Japan particularly in countryside, and the family would visit their ancestor’s grave to welcome their spirits. One month later in mid August, people in major cities normally take holidays to travel back to their country villages to join another Obon, a traditional version. This is because Japan shifted its calendar system from lunar-based to solar-based 135 years ago.
I went to our graveyard today to clean up ours. The usually quiet street was full of cars and people. They typically carry a backet of flowers and a broom. I am not religious but my father died this year and I felt I could not miss his first Obon, now that my parents sleep in the grave together. We then visited my wife’s family grave, too. At the florist’s on our way, we came across with some interesting flowers. The florist said to us, “don’t you think this lotus flower indeed brings luck?”

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