It’s a bit stupid title, I know.I couldn’t come up with anything good that this post would explain.You see, I know that Halloween is quite a recent event in Japan and there is not many traditions around him, so I wondered if there is something typically Japanese, which would be similar to Halloween tradition in North America.And I think it’s probably O-Bon.
Ok, maybe when they crry had a more terrifying festival
I am sure that some of you know the Name O-Bon festivals are widely organized in August in Japan and include traditional dances, beating in drums, drinking, food … all good things.But these scenes do not always show that O-Bon is a festival of the dead.
O-Bon is a Buddhist festival of the dead.At that time, the spirits of deceased family members and ancestors are worshiped.The legend of O-Bon is based on a Buddhist legend, myth, true history … About one of the Buddha students named Mokuren.Apparently, Mokuren found out in some way that his path died his mother actually went to hell.I don’t know the details why.I bet this is a good story.And because Mokuren is a good child and does not want his mother’s soul to suffer for eternity, conducts the ceremony to save and clean her.
Mokuren’s mother was in a special hell of hungry ghosts.So he decided that he would send her delicious food and water, but as soon as he tried to eat or drink something, he would turn into a fire.Desperate Mokuren asked Buddha Siakajamuni for advice on how to help his mother.The Buddha suggested that when other students are available, they should gather and organize a service offering food to all suffering from hunger!
Mokuren is so beautiful
Over time, this legend gave rise to the tradition of worshiping the dead, especially family members, offering food and drinking.It is said that the original story happened just after the rainy season, in July or August, so this is one of the reasons for this time.But in addition, the Japanese tradition is convinced that the higher the temperature, the thinner the boundaries between the world of ghosts and the world of the living become.So the hot August heat was the perfect time.
O-Bon is a time when both born and found families merge and have fun, giving respect to the graves of ancestors.The bonfires are frequent, as well as paper lanterns and food victims during the course.Perhaps you also saw Shourououuma, small figurines of vegetables and toothpicks.Some families place cucumber horses and eggplant cows on their home altars so that the spirits in the living kingdom can go back to the world of ghosts in a great style!It would be rude to make them go there.I must say that I think it is a charming tradition.
This is one little eggplant
But O-Bon is not devoid of stakes and danger.Like Halloween, he has tricks, as well as treats and terrifying, terrifying things of all kinds, O-bon can change color to dark if you are not careful.After all, ghosts are capricious and you don’t want to stand on their bad side.
If the spirit of the deceased was well looked after and then properly respected after death, this is good news.This spirit will protect those who still live, maybe even a bit of prosperity if you are lucky.
But if the ghost was not looked after in life or if he died a violent death, then you better show more respect in your worship, because if you can’t soothe their anger, you will have a really hard time!
There are many festivals for the dead around the world.And they are almost always accompanied by joyful and sometimes noisy celebrations.Everyone I could think about usually include some kind of drinking for celebration.I mean that officially Halloween does not apply to alcohol, but let’s face the truth, among the widely celebrated holidays it is by far the most drunk.And O-Bon is the same.
These guys seem a bit too young to drink
Although there are no costumes, people often wear yukaty, which makes it a bit of a costume mask for celebration and ghosts are also the basis.Eating tasty food, both spicy and sweet, is a necessity.The evening output to the fireworks show completes the ceremony.You see it well, it’s actually Japanese Halloween, except that it is more communal and outdoors because it is summer.
I come from a country where snowfall in Halloween is quite frequent and I have to cheat or play with my costume for a winter coat is something that you just have to get used to …
Do you agree?Is Obon like Halloween?Maybe next year we will be able to celebrate both!