Rosoku matsuri ろうそくまつり
The eternal flame <br>
Every year, in August, the monastic center of Koyasan organizes a festival to honor the dead (obon). Far from the dark and commercial atmosphere of Halloween, Rosoku Matsuri celebrates the dead with lighted candles.
Like a long trail of fire in the night, the alley leading to the cemetery of Okunoin lights up every August 13th, a symbolic date for those who have lost loved ones. On that day, they are invited to light a candle in their memory, to help them go in peace. Also known as the candle festival, Rosoku Matsuri is one of the most magical events held in Koyasan.
A procession leaving from the door of Torodo Temple starts at 7pm and continues for the two kilometers leading to the necropolis. Everyone recites prayers.
Along the route artisan candle makers offer candles to light your way and pay homage to the deceased. Considering the number of stores, you have plenty of choice.
As it is a festival, there is of course the possibility of having a snack or some entertainment. And as the Japanese make a point of respecting the sacred place, any candles without holders are placed on a protective tape in order to avoid marking the ground with wax.
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