July 13-15(16) in the lunar calendar
August 13 - 16
Bon is a traditional Buddist annual event in which a memorial service is held
in order to honor the souls of ancestors
that are said to return and stay homes during this period.
Bon is held from August 13 to 15.
In a house, a soul altar called shoryodana is set up in front of a butsudan (family altar )
with various offerings: rice,vegetables, fruits,
and animal figures for the spirits' vehicle made of egg plants and cucumbers,
to welcome the ancestors' souls.
Priests are requested to come and recite sutras (tanagyo).
Traditionary on 13th, mukaebi or welcoming fires are made in front of the houses or in cemetaries
to guide the way for the souls.
On the last evening of bon, okuribi or send-off fires are made
to send off the visiting souls.
The Daimonji-Gozan-no-Okuribi in Kyoto is the very famous Okuribi.
Shouryo-nagashi or lantern floating, a variation of Okuribi, is done in many places in Japan.
( There are many ways of sending spirits back, and also the date are depend on areas )
Bon Odori or Bon dance is also danced in a local comunity
to comfort the spirits of ancestors.
Most Japanese companies take around 3 to 10 days for Bon vacation.
Usually families living in the cities return to their hometowns.
However, year after year the tradition of Bon is slowly fading.
Instead of returning to their hometowns,
sometimes people travel abroad or domestically and enjoy the holoday.