In Japan and around the world this week, Buddhists are celebrating Obon, a festival commemorating the spirits of deceased ancestors, who are said to return to family altars during this time.
The three-day celebration, occurring this year from July 13 to 15, usually includes a special dance called Bon-Odori, which is performed differently in certain regions. Japanese families traditionally return to their ancestral homes to clean and decorate the graves of the departed. The timing of the festival is dependent on the solar and lunar calendars, and some Japanese Buddhists observe Obon in August because of these fluctuations.
In the United States, too, many Japanese-American families also celebrate Obon with dances and food at Buddhist temples.
In Delray Beach, Florida, a celebration of Obon is hosted annually for all at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. This video, produced by Patrick McBride, shows highlights of the celebration, including dancers, Taiko drumming, lanterns on the lake and fireworks.