Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Flash

Friday Flash
Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
Wagashi is a seasonal Japanese confectionery.There are different kinds using various ingredients.The flower sweets above are made from wasanbon(high grade premium fine Japanese sugar).
According to some of my students they are used as decorations and offerings to your dead relatives during the O-Bon festival.
The O-Bon festival is like an annual family reunion where people return to their home towns to visit and clean their ancestors graves.
O-Bon is celebrated in either July or August depending on whether you live in Eastern or Western Japan.
At the end of the festival the sweets are used in a shoro nagashi ceremony(spirit of the dead ceremony).Again these ceremonies vary according to local areas and customs.
In some areas the sweets are put on lanterns or boats and floated down streams and rivers.In places near the sea, apparently the sweets are thrown into the ocean as offerings to the departed family relatives..

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