Obon - Ullambana

Obon or Ullambana is also known as Ancestor Day.

The festival is aimed at celebrating the reunion of departed ancestors with their living families. 

Extended families often


reunite to return to ancestral places and visit ancestors' graves.  The festival lasts for three days. 

The starting date varies within different regions of Japan.  At the beginning of the Meiji era the lunar calendar was replaced with the Gregorian calendar.  This resulted in three different starting dates for the festival. 

"Shichigatsu Bon", also known as Bon in July, is based on the solar calendar and is celebrated around 15 July in eastern Japan. 

The more popular "Hachigatsu Bon", or Bon in August, is based on the lunar calendar, and is celebrated around the 15th August. 

"Kyu Bon", or Old Bon, is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which is on a different date each year.

These three days are not recognised as public holidays but people are normally given leave.

Last modified on Friday, 14 February 2014 07:57

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