Huge bonfires light up Kyoto
NHK -- Aug 17
Huge bonfires on mountains lit up Japan's old capital, Kyoto, on Wednesday night in an annual Buddhist ceremony.

One bonfire on a mountainside formed the shape of the Chinese character meaning "large".

This was followed by the lighting of 4 other fires, including one in the shape of a boat.

This event is said to date back more than 300 years. The fires are lit to send off the spirits of ancestors, which are believed to return home during the mid-summer Bon festival period.

京都「五山の送り火」、夜空に「大」の文字浮かぶ  京都では、お盆の伝統行事「五山の送り火」がともされました。  16日午後8時、京都の夜空に「大」の文字が浮かび上がりました。「五山の送り火」は、お盆に帰ってきた先祖の霊を再び送り出し無病息災を祈る行事で、炎は闇の道を行く精霊の足元を照らすといわれています。

News source: NHK
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