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Monthly Feature Story-August 2019-Obon Holiday

Cultural Tips-Obon Holiday

People in Japan believe that their ancestors' spirits come back to their homes to reunite with their family during Obon holiday. The Obon holiday period in Japan varies from region to region but in most areas it begins on the 13th and ends on the 16th of August.

One of the most interesting practices for the holiday period is to make a little horse and cow with a cucumber and eggplant. Disposable wooden chopsticks or toothpicks are used for their legs.

The reason why Japanese people make a cucumber horse and an eggplant cow is because they are wishing their ancestors' spirits would speedily come to their homes on horseback. The cow is made as people would like them to go back to the other world as slowly as possible riding a cow.

Paper lanterns are lit and placed inside people's homes and at family graves to help guide the spirits to revisit their homes and then to the other world again.

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