Toro Nagashi : The Japanese light festival
It is one of the major events in Japan's year. Traditionally celebrated at the end of Obon, a three-day Buddhist festival held in late August, Toro Nagashi sees thousands of lanterns set afloat at dusk to commemorate the souls of the dead. It results in a spectacular play of light and dark as the lanterns' glow slowly fades into the distance.
Toro Nagashi is second only to New Year's Eve, and Japanese people will typically take time off work to travel home and participate, In terms of the most observed celebrations in Japan. The floating Lamp is nothing but the type of lamp which floats on the surface of the water is known as Toro Nagashi. Also, it is known as a river lamp or Lake Lamp, etc. In India, the water lamp is originated and was later spread to Southeast Asia and East Asia due to Buddhism. In 1946, first held, it was originally called the "Festival of Recovery" and was used to kick-off Japan's rebirth. The event became popular over time around the world but it was put on hold for some years hold after the Sumida River was encased in concrete in 1965.
Toro Nagashi is a joyous occasion and a time for celebration, rather than mourning lost loved ones, although thinking of ancestors who have passed away. This is a very spiritual and connective process. This concept of letting go of the paper lanterns lit with candles and allowing them to float onto the water symbolizes how spirits carry on in the afterlife and are remembered. In Japan, to pay respect and show honor, Togo Nagashi festivals also take place in memory of tragic events that have occurred. Lanterns are lit and sent down the river in honor and memory of lives lost in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and World War II, and to remember those who are lost. There is a connection between human bodies and water according to Japanese tradition, it is believed that the lanterns embody the lives of those who have passed, and returning them to water, allows for the bodies to return to their natural state.
You can bring your lanterns or buy them ready-made for around 1,500 yen (£11) if you want to do more than simply witness the lanterns' journey downstream for yourself. You'll find tables set up where you can decorate your lantern with pictures and wishes At most major festivals. Although it's best to arrive as early as possible, Toro Nagashi festivals are free to watch, the riverbanks tend to get very crowded, and those wishing to release a lantern will need to wait in line, for as long as an hour.