“Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.”
~ Francis Lucille
2006 Obon Fireworks (Tokyo):
Second only to New Year’s, the Japanese O-Bon is a major annual event that brings families and relatives together, even when they live in distant parts of the country.
O-Bon marks the convergence of a Buddhist ritual for the dead, with indigenous folk rituals, to the ancestors praying for the health and prosperity of the household. Traditionally, it is believed that the spirits of the ancestors revisit ancestral homes during midsummer, and people take this occasion to pay their respects to family graves.
A mukaebi ( welcoming fire ) is kindled at the beginning of O-Bon and offerings are made in homes with household Buddhist altars. O-Bon observances end with the lighting of okuribi ( farewell fires ).
On a personal note, I have always been intrigued by fireworks … as living in New York for over 30 years, you get a major performance at the annual 4th of July celebrations. However, I never took a crack at fireworks photography as I did not see much originality in taking photos of lights in the sky. But with the Obon festival this year, I decided to have a crack at it and try to give it my personal touch and style … something I’m still working on!!