Bon Festival

Japan petitions to add 40 traditional folk dances to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list

If approved, the new additions would join one dance already on the list under the collective title of “Elegant Dances.”

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Break out your rags and incense! Let’s learn to clean a grave the right way this Obon season

This Thursday, 15 August marks the beginning of Obon in most of Japan. Obon is a Buddhist custom in Japan where families gather together and are visited by the spirits of their ancestors. Various festivals are held to welcome the ghosts with music and dancing, depending on the region.

However, one tradition that is fairly consistent across the country is known as Ohakamairi (visiting the grave). This custom involves the family going to their grave to clean it and give presents to their deceased ancestors.

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