For the last couple of months, I've been asked by Japanese friends if I'd be going home in mid-August.
That's because many people return to their hometown for the Obon period, August 13th through 16th.
Obon is an annual event for honoring one's ancestors. Buddhists believe that their ancestors' spirits return to earth in order to visit their relatives during the Obon period.
According to an on-line article about the holiday, "Lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors' spirits, Obon dances (bon odori) are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples."
Although there's no mention of spectacular firework shows, that's what happened in Kuji on Sunday night -- concluding Obon with a bang!
Earlier that day I had been thinking and writing about the State Fair, and then that night was a fair-like festival in Kuji, with food booths, lots of people and a fireworks display! Nice timing. :)
It kind of felt like Independence Day, a month and a half late. Here are a few photos I took...
This photo is fun because the three girls on the left are taking pictures on their cell phones (a VERY common sight!), AND the gals in front of them are wearing summer kimonos called yukattas. So very Japanese.