Gozan-no-okuribi: Ceremonial Bonfires give Ancestors Safe Passage

Core Kyoto

28m 00s
Broadcast on September 18, 2014 Available until March 31, 2022

The Japanese believe their ancestors' spirits return from the other world to visit during Obon in mid-August. The Gozan-no-okuribi ceremony to send them off is held in Kyoto at the end of Obon on August 16. Bonfires are lit on 5 Kyoto mountains as guides for the spirits to find their way back safely. Watch the locals' prepare for this fiery traditional event in the Matsugasaki area of Kyoto, where 2 of the bonfires are lit, and discover the ancient customs of the living and the dead.

Program Outline