Daimonji no Okuribi

20:00 - 20:30, August 16 (annual)

It is said that the souls of our ancestors return to to this side from the Other Side at Bon.
In the evening of 13th, mukaebi (welcoming fire) are lit to help the returning souls find their way,
and okuribi (send-off fire) are lit on 16 (15th in some region) to guid them back to the other world..

People usually light mukaebi and okuribi at the gates of the houses or in cemetaries.

photo courtesy of Yonehara

(Horses made of cucumbers and oxes made of eggplants are settled on the home alter.
Cucumber horses bring the souls to their former houses fast, and eggplant oxes take them back to the other world slowly.)
However these cusutoms are almost disappeared in large cities.

15:00 : There are already lots of people at the banks of
the Kamo-gawa River who are waiting for the fire of Daimonji.