Thursday, 8th August 2013
In Japan Travel News,
Buddha statue receives annual clean-up
Tourists heading to Japan this week will want to make time to visit the Great Buddha Statue in the ancient capital of Nara, which is looking resplendent following its annual mid-summer clean-up ritual.
The Buddha is dusted off once a year in August in preparation for the festival of Obon, which sees the people of Japan pay tribute to their ancestors. During this sacred time, it is believed that the deceased return to the world.
Nara's Buddha statue plays an important part in the festival, and priests had to perform a ceremony to remove its soul before dusting off its hands and knees.
Other important Obon events taking place in Japan this month include Kyotos gigantic Daimonji fires, which are lit on the mountains surrounding the city and take very distinctive shapes in order to honour the dead.
Written by Mark Smith