Japan has several national holidays to celebrate every year and Obon festival is just one. “Obon, from the phrase “the Bon festival”, refers to a series of events done to worship the souls of Japanese ancestors held around the 15th of July in the old Japanese luni-solar calendar.
During this period, Japanese people make some preparations that are similar to the Golden Week (April to May) and New Year. The main similarity among these holidays is in number of people who return to their hometowns or those who go on a relaxing vacation.
However, this holiday is not marked as a national holiday on the calendar. As a result, some businesses like service centers, hospitals, banks, and government offices remain operational during the O-bon festival. On the contrary, it is very common to experience traffic congestion caused by people traveling here and there.
It is also a Japanese summer tradition to feature several local events such as the “Bon festival dance” and “fireworks display” where everyone can gather around. Aside from paying a visit to the ancestors, this is also a perfect time for families, relatives, friends and acquaintances to come together and have fun.
O-bon festival is like giving a memorial service to ancestors, but done on a regular basis. While having a very busy life is normal for Japanese people, they still find time to show their care and love to their ancestors in a form of a yearly visit.