Spirit Boat Procession

Mico

Dec 8, 2016

In Japan, there is a traditional ceremony called Spirit Boat Procession, held on August 15 in Nagasaki, during a 3-day Obon festival. A form of ancestor worship, it is meant to send off the souls of the dead.

When someone passes away, their loved ones build a boat to transport that person’s spirit to the after-world, usually at the first obon after their death. These boats are often decorated with the family emblems, in a way that reflects the interests of the deceased. You can see many different sizes – the small ones are usually meant for children, or even pets!

In the past, these boats were released into the river, but today, a more environmentally friendly version means they are pulled around the town, with lots of firecrakers being let off. Yes, to some cultures this may be unusual, but the event isn’t just solemn; it is also an opportunity to celebrate the person’s life and worship him. The noise is also supposed to ward off evil and welcome good luck. Finally, at the end of the parade, however fancy and elaborate the boats are, they will all be destroyed.

Why not plan to visit during the Obon in Nagasaki; chances are, you will never see anything else like it. Watch a video

精霊流しとは、長崎市一帯で毎年8月15日に行われる、死者の魂を弔って送る行事です。

この風習は、非常に日本らしさを持っています。日本各地には、お盆という風習があり、祖先を祀る行事があります。この精霊流しは、死者が亡くなって初めてのお盆(初盆という)に行われるもので、豪華な船を川に流して弔うというものです。

本来なら川に流すのですが、環境の問題もあり現在は船を引きながら町中を歩きます。ユニークな点は、船を持って歩き進む際に、爆竹を鳴らしながら進んでいきます。

この光景がとても珍しいので、是非見に行って欲しいと思います。 ビデオを見る

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