Set It Ablaze – Tomorrow Is Kyoto's Daimonji Fire Festival

News in Asia
Set It Ablaze – Tomorrow Is Kyoto's Daimonji Fire Festival

Daimonji mountainside festival in Kyoto will be celebrated tomorrow, August, 16 with the Daimonji and several other mountains in the vicinity set ablaze.

The festival is an annual event celebrated in the middle of the Obon season in August that is a season of worshipping the ancestors. Obon is also known as Japanese Festival of the Dead.

Every year, on August, 16 a side of the Daimonji mountain near Silver Pavillion in Kyoto becomes the backdrop for a spectacular fire show seen from afar. The fire flames form a blazing message for the revellers in Japanese characters 大 (great) on Daimonji mountain and 妙法 (The most splendid methods of the Buddha) on nearby mountains.

Fire is a symbol of the Japanese complex religious culture celebrating it outloud. It also a kind of the door between the two worlds allowing the ancestral spirits who are believed to visit the earthly realm during Obon to return back to the spirit realm.

The festival will start tomorrow at 8 pm when the 大 character is set alaze. Other characters will lighten up at five-minute intervals. After that a fire boat and a torii, a gateway to a shrine, will appear, too. To get ancestrial protection for the whole year, drink a cup of sake while characters are burning. Regardless of what angle you watch it from, the blaze itself is a singularly unique spectacle.

To get the most of the Daimonji mountain, hike up the extinguished 大 for a sublime panorama of Kyoto.



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