Kyoto Gozan Okuribi fire event held in original form for 1st time in 3 years

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Chinese character Dai is lit up on Daimonji Mountain behind a crowd during the Kyoto Gozan Okuribi event on Tuesday night in Kyoto City.

KYOTO — The Kyoto Gozan Okuribi fire event was held Tuesday night in its pre-pandemic form for the first time in three years on mountains in Kyoto City.

Fires in the shape of kanji characters, a boat and a torii gate were lit up on five mountains in the ancient capital to send off the departed souls of ancestors, said to visit the world of the living during the Bon holiday period. The event was scaled down for the past two years amid the coronavirus pandemic, but residents and visitors were able to enjoy the annual event in its regular form this year.

The event was slightly delayed due to heavy rains, but just a little after 8 p.m., the kanji character “Dai,” meaning “large,” was lit up on Nyoigatake mountain, also known as Mt. Daimonji, on the eastern side of the city. Only six of the mountain’s 75 fire beds were used in the previous two years, but all the fire beds were lit this year and the character burned brightly on the dark slope of the mountain.

The event’s other characters and shapes were then lit on the other four mountains in a counterclockwise sequence.

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