This year, we decided to go to Nara for the Obon special events. On August 15th, thousands of lanterns dedicated to the Great Buddha statue (Daibutsu) and to the ancestor’s spirits that are believed to visit this world during the “Obon” festival are lit around the Todaiji temple. On that day, the Buddha statue is illuminated and the small window of the hall is open through which people outside can see the Buddha’s face. Priests chant a special prayer in the hall.
This special event is called Manto Kuyoe
“Manto” means 10,000 lights, and some 2,500 lanterns, each with four candles, are offered to the Buddha. When we enter the temple ground, the sight and the atmosphere are really special.