Thousands of candle lights

A classic annual event, "Cyugen-man-toro "was taken place at Kasugataisya-shrine in Nara city on the 14th and 15th in August. This shrine's origin dates back to the 8th century. All lanterns in the shrine are lit and ancestor's happiness or everyone's  happiness are prayed. Those lanterns are donation by the rich or the poor in many age. So every lantern has a family  heraldry that contributed it.

                                     Many lanterns are hanging at cloisters surround the shrine.

                             I like this pattern, wisteria. I wonder which family's heraldry is this?

             Here is dark usually. But anyone can light a candle in a lantern today.

Here in Nara Park, an annual event " Tokae"is taken  place at night  from the 5th to the 14th in August. About twenty thousand  plastic vessels with lit a candle  in make some pictures on the ground in Nara Park or even World Heritage Site. They were put on the ground, shaping something like river, heart shape etc.  Anyone can  light a candle and place a vessel, hoping  everyone's happy.

Candle lights' magnificent pattern silhouette prey.

         Candle lights waver in Forest-of-Kasuga quietly, gently,hopefully.

This is made by ice and a candle is burning in it.  This was put in front of the entrance of Himuro-Shrine. Himuro means ice house .There was not refrigerators in old days. But  ice was kept in the place like an ice house from winter to summer about 1300 years ago and offered it to the emperor.

There is a custom "the Bon Festival" in Japan from a long time ago. The spirit of our ancestors come back to our home during the Bon Festival (generally from 13th to 15th in August). So we visit the family tomb ,clean it, lay flowers or incense sticks on the family tomb .

                                           Candle light is burning in bamboo.
As the spirits of ancestors stay our home during the Bon Festival, we prepare the meals for them or make offerings, fruits, vegetables  etc at our family Buddhist altar for them.  Of course their meal is a little  syojin-ryori(Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine) in five small tableware lacquered are set on a tray with legs in our case. We also ate Syojin-Ryori during the Bon Festival generally. But recently  people have a feast with meat because for example children are on their own come back their parents' home during the Bon Holiday. Bon Holiday is a good chance to family gathering.
The family priest comes our home to sing sutra for the spirits of our ancestor.
We see the spirits off on the 15th.

World Heritage Site in Nara Park are lit up.  Kongo-rikisi-zo (This is a god guards Todaiji-temple and stands at its gate with another god)was lit up during this term,too. I've never seen well but a powerful statue. This was made with wood  about 800 years ago. It's 8.36m tall and the weight is 6.6t.

This is a hanging scroll. We hang it at an alcove at Buddhism affair in our case. Forty-four temple's vermeil seals are stamped on it.

 The unprecedented big earthquake and tunami struck in Tohoku area in Japan on 3.11. It has past  five months. But about four thousand and six hundred people are still missing .
And the tunami washed  innumerable houses. I wonder where the spirits of  ancestor  was washed their house come back to during the Bon Festival and where the spirits of missing people will wander? It's very bitter for people stayed behind the missing.  I can do nothing but pray.


While daytime in Nara Park, too hot!
This is a building of hexagon called Ukimido. This is built in Sagi-Pond.
Crepe myrtle around this pond are in full bloom now. These petals look like crepe.

His eyes and my eyes met by chance.

Oriental lily in Matuo-temple.

                                                                   In my garden.

21 件のコメント:

Arti さんのコメント...

What a fabulous and varied post covering so many topics!!
The lanterns look magnificent and what a beautiful festival it is...
Also the ice lantern was fascinating...
And the flowers, fresh and heart warming... Captured wonderfully well!!
Amazing post Sarah, have a nice day :-)

redrose さんのコメント...

まだCyugen-man-toroに行った事ありません。素晴らしいですね!!!色々なデザインの燈籠を見るのも、とても楽しいです!私もそのwisteria の燈籠が好きです。今Ukimidoの百日紅が満開だそうですね。見に行きたいなあと思いながら、暑くてたまらないので、近所の公園の百日紅を見て楽しんでいます。すばしこいとんぼ君のshot は見事!300ミリレンズの威力発揮!
See you!

haricot さんのコメント...

I did not vosit Kasuga grand shrine this time, though I saw "Toka-e" on the field. It made me feel cooler, besides the reminder of the victimes of Tsnami was so sad.
I like your picture of Ukimi-do very much.

cosmos さんのコメント...

Thank you for sharing, sarah.

Spiderdama さんのコメント...

So many wonderful photos of these lantern. And your pictures from garden is beautiful, I love that last one.. color and it looks like very small raindrops.
Hope you have a great time:-)

Wendy さんのコメント...

What beautiful pictures! The lanterns look so bright and the flowers stunning. Thank you for sharing so much information.

Our time to celebrate spirits of the ancestors is October 31 - November 2, here in North America.

stardust さんのコメント...

Wow, you put so many things into this post! I didn’t go to Tokae but went to see Okuribi at Mt. Takamado. The best viewing place, Tobihino, was full of spectators and I couldn’t believe if it was the same place with the daytime when people are sparse. I also saw muscular Nios under the illumination. In the daytime we can’t see such details. As Tomoko wrote , 300 mm zoom is so powerful - especially the last photo creates a magical world. Crape Myrtle at New Public Hall are varied with white, red, pink and lavender flowers. They bloom long, so have a visit if you can brave the heat once again. Thank you for sharing all of these. Stay cool, Sarah.


Francisca さんのコメント...

How very interesting... this is also ghost month in China. Of course Japan and China do share a lot of ancient history. The lanterns are beautiful, as are your flowers.

sarah さんのコメント...

To Arti.
It's really beautiful inside the shrine. The icy vessel was touched by many kids. So it will melt soon.
Thank you for comment.

To Redrose.
The dragonfly in my garden easygoing and when I approached him
his compound eye moved to me but didn't fly away.

To Haricot.
Ukimido is nice spot to take pictures but I've gone there much.
So I will go to there more to practice to take pictures.

To Cosmos.
The last flower's name is "pentasu"? I didn't know.
Indeed I couldn't take lanterns well three times but at the fourth try I could do it. It's difficult.

To Spiderdama.
Lanterns are really beautiful. I saw them for the first time.
I tried some times to take the last flower and at last I could.

To Wendy.
Your time to celebrate spirits of the ancestors includes Halloween?
The term is three days so it's the same as Japan's.
Thank you for nice comment.

To Stardust.
I went to Tobihino to see Okuribi last summer. As you say,it looked like saving a spot at the Disney
land. Crape Myrtle has also lavender color? But no thank you to go.Thank you info.

To Francisca.
I don't know about ghost month in China. I heard it's October 31-November 2 in North America.
Thank you for comment.

Icy BC さんのコメント...

Oh Sarah, these lanterns and candles are absolutely fantastic to see, and read about this tradition.

Your photos are always fabulous!

forgetmenot さんのコメント...

What an interesting post--you covered a lot. The lanterns and candles are beautiful, as are the flower shots. The lovely lake is quite a nice shot too. My thoughts are with you --there seems to be much tragedy in the world today. Mickie :)

Evelyn さんのコメント...

A beautiful and interesting collection of photos!

sarah さんのコメント...

To Icy BC.
Yes, they were very beautiful. This time was my first visit and I was surprised with its vividness.

To Mickie.
Yes, there seems to be much tragedy
in the world. There are many causes but I hope man-made disasters vanish.

To Evelyn.
Thank you for nice comment.

Q さんのコメント...

thank you for sharing your culture. The lanterns are gorgeous.
I too will pray for those missing.
Your photographs are beautiful.
So happy to get to know you and your country.

Forest Dream Weaver さんのコメント...

Sarah,you take us on a very interesting journey,the hall of lanterns looks amazing.I'm interested to learn about the Bon Festival and the ways you connect with the spirits of your ancestors.
I love the idea of meeting a dragonfly eye to eye!
Your photos are lovely,thank you!

Enjoy your week,

sarah さんのコメント...

To Sherry.
Thank you for praying. There seems to be much tragedy in the world now.
Thank you for nice comment.

To Ruby.
The way of connecting with spirits of ancestors is depend on the family or sect of Buddhism.
Thank you for nice comment.

sm さんのコメント...

beautiful photos

sarah さんのコメント...

To sm,
Thank you for visiting and comment!

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...



sarah さんのコメント...

To 今、この一瞬を

Ekaterina Trayt さんのコメント...

This is such a light and warm post! And the wooden god is very impressive, a masterpiece.