Bonfires Emerge to Remember DeceasedGozan no Okuribi in Kyoto16 August 2015 - Tradition/Culture
"Gozan no Okuribi," a traditional Kyoto event to send off the spirits of ancestors who were welcomed back during the O-bon holidays, was held in Kyoto City on the night of August 16. Citizens and tourists silent
ly observed the vibrant flames on the mountain sides, remembering the deceased and lamenting the passing of summer.
At 8:00 p.m., the character "Daimonji" on Mt. Nyoigatake in Sakyo Ward was lit up. Subsequently the other characters’ bonfires were lit up in the order of "Myo," "Ho," "Funagata," "Hidari-Daimonji," and "Toriigata." The characters blazed with bright clarity on the mountains surrounding the Kyoto basin area.
As the intensity of midsummer's daytime heat has eased in the evening, crowds in the city reached approximately 60,000 people, representing an increase of 20,000 from last year, according to the Kyoto Prefectural Police announcement. Although rain sprinkled off and on, there were many families and tourists in "Yukata," or casual, summer cotton kimono, along the Kamo River in Kamigyo Ward. Some of them put their hands together in remembrance of their ancestors and the deceased, while others took photos of the blazing flames with their smartphones.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)