Hello, my name is Misato. Today I’m going to introduce a special festival in Japan, “Bon” or “Obon”.

Bon is a Japanese festival where we pray for our ancestors’ spirits. The origin of bon hasn’t been found clearly. Anciently, there was the event that ancestors visit descendants to exchange twice a year. This event was held in early spring and early autumn. The event in early spring became festival of new years, and the other became bon. In Bon festival a variety of foods are offered to the spirits of ancestors, and people pray for their ancestors’ repose.

Many Japanese people who have moved to the cities to work return to their home towns during this period. In towns and villages across the country, people in yukata gather for outdoor dances known as bon-odori. Bon-odori is imitation of the deceased from hell.

 In some districts, people made syouryouma. Syouryouma is made from cucumbers and eggplants. Cucumbers are likened to horses which run fast, because people wish their ancestors come back home fast. Eggplants are likened to cows which walk slowly because they wish their ancestors go back to the next world slowly.

Thank you for reading and listening.

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