Kyoto’s Gozan no Okuribi

Kyoto’s Gozan no Okuribi

Wondrous ceremonial bonfires in the summer night sky!

This is one of the traditional events associated with the end of the Bon Festival, where people send off the souls of their departed ancestors. During this time, okuribi (ceremonial bonfires) are lit atop five mountains in Kyoto in the form of Chinese characters. At around 8 o'clock at night, a bonfire in the shape of the character for "big" illuminates the sky in Higashiyama, followed by the characters for "wondrous" and "dharma" in Matsugasaki, the image of a boat in Nishigamo, another "big" character in Okitayama, and the image of a torii gate in Saga. The fires each burn for approximately 30 minutes. Goma-gi ritual prayer sticks can also be used to light the okuribi as part of preliminary offerings to the deities. Goma-gi: Sticks of wood which are used during Buddhist ceremonies. Prayers and memorials for ancestors can be written on the sticks. When they are burned, it is said that they are delivered up to heaven.


Event information

Throughout the city of Kyoto
August 16 every year
Official website

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