Obon in 2023!

2023.08.02  Glady

A large number of the Japanese people are Buddhist. As a yearly celebration, they hold Obon which intends to commemorate their loved ones who have already passed away. They believe that their dead ancestors are visiting the living ones during this event. They put lanterns at home so that their ancestors’ spirits can easily find their way to the living ones. They offer a variety of food, light candles, and put fresh and beautifully arranged flowers at their house altars. On the final day of Obon, people put floating lanterns into the rivers, lakes, seas, or any bodies of water to send their ancestors back to the spirit realm.

In other countries, like the Philippines for instance, we observe almost the same event during All Soul’s Day every November 2nd. Families reunite to visit the grave of their loved ones. We offer food which are mostly the dead’s favorite dishes, light candles, and offer our sincere prayers that our departed loved ones can find eternal peace.

For foreigners living and working in Japan, we take advantage of this holiday season to travel and enjoy Japanese culture and tradition. We set our trip and book our hotels in advance so that we can still find budget-friendly accommodations. We have to put in mind that hotel prices skyrocket in this season so planning ahead of time is the best idea.

Many stores also offer great selection of sale items at discounted prices so, we can do some shopping be it online or in-store shopping. I personally prefer in-store shopping where I can check and fit the items I like. However, because of the pandemic, I mostly do online shopping. It’s very convenient and easy. I hope that we can revert back to our old better days where we can see each other’s genuine smiles!