Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Calendar Entry #26: Ulambana Begins - kinda but not really.

Calendar event

Our calendar states that today is the beginning of Ulambana. Ulambana (or Ullambana) is a Buddhist festival that occurs on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. Unfortunately we have mistakenly added it at the wrong time of the year. This year Ulambana is being celebrated on the 14th of August. What is sometimes celebrated at this time is the Obon festival of Japan. While it is celebrated largely in August, as we've stated in our calendar, it is observed in Tokyo on the 13-15th of July this year.

Obon is similar to Ulambana in that it is the Festival of Souls to commemorate deceased ancestors. However as this is really a festival that takes place in August, I'll go into more detail at the appropriate time.

*** edit ***

It's been pointed out to me that the references I used, and the cross references have pointed me wrong. As far as I could tell from my research Ulambana was not celebrated until August. I even checked out some celebrations that were being organised around the world and they all were set for August 2011. However upon further review it does appear that while what I found was for August, there are groups who would be celebrating this festival in July this year as well. Apologies for putting anyone wrong or misleading you.

1 comment:

  1. It was NOT mistakenly put in on the wrong date at all.

    The New Year is celebrated at different times by the different forms of Buddhism. Mahayana Ulambana is the 13th of July this year. Other forms have it on other dates. I've found just as many Buddhist sources placing it on the 13th of July as I have putting it on the 14th of August and a few that say the 24th of August for this year.