Bonfires on the mountains illuminates Kyoto’s summer
You may be surprised that the mountain is burning by looking at this picture! This is called “Gozan Okuribi” which is one of the four main traditional events in Kyoto. “Okuribi” means “Sending fire” which is for sending the dead souls to the heaven. 5 kinds of figures and characters on the mountains located in west, north and east of Kyoto are emerged by the burning firewood.
Gozan Okuribi is held in the season called Obon in Japan. Normally, July or August are regarded as Obon season. In Kyoto, Obon is in the middle of August for 4 days. It is believed that the ancestors will come back to this world and their families welcome them in their house. On the last day of Obon, the ancestors will go back to the world after death. Therefore, there is a custom that people have traditionally send them by the fire all around Japan. The characteristics of Okuribi in Kyoto is to depict some characters on a large scale on the mountains. There are 5 kinds of Okuribi (sending fire) and this is the most popular one called “Daimonji” in this picture. You may be able to write your wish on the trunk that will be burnt in the mountain (you may need to register for this at the foot of each mountain except "Myo" and "Hou"). Let’s make a wish with your friends and family!