The Festival of Souls also called Obon or the Festival of Lanterns, is a Buddhist celebration, starts today on July 13th in Japan.
The Japanese believe that during this period the souls of their ancestors return to their homes on earth. This is the time when people can guide and help their ancestors' spirits to find peace.
During this festival period of 3 days, families hang lanterns outside their houses and beside the graves to welcome the souls to home, variety of food are offered to the souls of ancestors. During this period people gather for outdoor dances known as Bon dance.
The holiday is not one of mourning but celebration. Buddhists remember the good deeds done by their deceased relatives and friends and are thankful for the time they had together with them. It is also common to bring out photos of your deceased loved ones at this time