Saturday, August 10, 2013

Buddhist Festival of Souls: Celebrating Ancestors

Ancestor worship.  Both the Japanese and the Chinese venerate their ancestors and the tradition dates back to at least the Zhou dynasty.  Here's a modern holiday that celebrates ancestors.

The Buddhist Festival of Souls, called the  Bon or Obon festival, occurs in Japan in July and in China in August. The Japanese believe that the souls of their ancestors return to their homes on earth. It's their job to guide them and help them find peace. The Japanese usually hang lanterns in front of their houses to guide the spirits. The festival is also celebrated in Buddhist temples in America. Here are stories about some of the celebrations in some cities:

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