Friday, August 14, 2020: From 10am to 5pm and from 6pm to 11pm
On August 14, we celebrate the Obon Festival (Obon Matsuri) in the Japanese Garden. Obon is one of the most famous traditional festivals in Japan and is celebrated with various fairs, games and summer festivals.
In the Japanese Garden we celebrate Obon with a special nocturne from 6 pm to 11 pm, a rare opportunity to admire the Japanese Garden in the evening.
We also like to continue tōrō nagashi, the Japanese tradition of launching small lanterns, in the Japanese Garden. After nightfall, the Japanese Garden lights up by the fire of the little floating lanterns, turning the pond in front of the ceremony house into a sea of lights. Visitors are also welcome to participate in this tradition and put their own lantern on the water to decorate the garden with us.
Obon is a tradition that goes back more than 500 years, with people focusing on commemorating their ancestors. Although Obon is celebrated throughout Japan, customs sometimes differ greatly by region. For example, there are different traditions for song, dance and food, and the date sometimes differs per area. The party is always celebrated in the summer.