Tooro Nagashi - Lantern Festival by the River

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You know the Japanese festival where you put yourself flashlights to the river floating? This festival is called Tooro Nagashi [灯籠流し] and in this article we are going to talk about this famous Japanese festival.

The word "tooroo”[灯籠] means flashlight and the word“Nagashi”[流し] means cruise or flow. Generally the tooros are made on a styrofoam plate or board of pins, bamboo, colored paper to write the honoree's name, and candle.

In 1946, in the city of Tokyo, Japan, the Festival of Recovery (now called Tooro Nagashi) took place, where about 3,000 shining paper lanterns were launched in the Sumida River.

Tooro nagashi - festival das lanternas ao rio

In Japan the most famous Tooro Nagashi is that of Nagasaki, which takes place at the Tanabata festival.

Origin of the Tooro Nagashi Festival

The city was in economic ruin after the Second World War, and such lanterns launched, would be to commemorate the souls of the dead, a way to honor and thank them. For 40 years, the event was suspended between 1965 and 2005.

Celebrated between August 13th and 15th, according to Buddhist beliefs, it is marked by the return of the ancestors' spirits to their homes to meet with their families.

Tooro nagashi - festival das lanternas ao rio

Tooro Nagashi, marks the end of Obon period (a holiday similar to the day of the dead for Brazilians), usually happens at dusk, when families say goodbye to the souls of their ancestors with their bright lanterns with the name of the deceased written and also messages, in order to illuminate their return and propagate the peace.

Unlike the days of the dead when mourning is celebrated, the Festival tends to be a joyful celebration and closes the longest holiday in Japan, which includes 5 remarkable and world-famous events starting with the Welcome Fires; Offer drinks, food and sweets; Grave visits and cleaning; Bon Odori; and finally Tooro Nagashi).

Tooro Nagashi in Brazil

In Brazil, the state of São Paulo (where a large number of Japanese and descendants are concentrated), the city of Registro pioneered the celebration of Tooro Nagashi, held in the first two days of November because of the days of the dead, in 1955 .

Tooro nagashi - festival das lanternas ao rio

The celebration grew, and when it was structured, the Nipo Brasileira de Registro Cultural Association - Bunkyo started to lead the organization of the event, with that, no longer being restricted only to ancestors, starting to honor the victims of accidents on the BR - 116 highway.

Tooro Nagashi ended up being just a Buddhist belief and became an ecumenical ritual integrating several religions and was integrated into the city calendar of Registro / SP.

What did you think of this festival in Japan? Have you heard? If you liked the article don't forget to share and leave your comments. Finally, let's leave a video about Tooro Nagashi: