Monday, August 15, 2005
We are in the middle of Obon here, which can best be explained as a cross between All Souls' Day and Easter. All Souls' Day in the sense that it is a time when the spirits of ancestors return to the house and Easter in the sense that it is the second most important family celebration of the year. We happened to be round at A.'s parents' house yesterday when the priest was visiting. He was a red nosed fellow. Apparently, he always comes round to A.'s parents' at the end of his Obon round, perhaps because they give him beer. I think he arrived at about 5pm. He was still there at 9pm, and well into his fifth beer, when I went back to our house. There was some talk in the kitchen about when he might leave. He talked about how he knew the "bishop" of Doryo-san really quite well and how he didn't get summer holidays because there was so much to do because of Obon (bit like a vicar talking about not having Christmas holidays). I think there is a certain type of priest who is the same the world over.
(The photo is of Obon nasu, a model of a cow made of aubergine, which apparently is a must for any self respecting Obonist. Think of Halloween without the pumpkin faces! There is also a compulsory horse made of cucumber. The image was stolen from this site, which kindly gave permission to use it. )
Posted by Nonjatta at 10:54 am