Date: August 11
Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Lord Krishna. Krishna is known as the 8th incarnation of the god Vishnu. It is observed, according to the Hindu luni-solar calendar, on the eighth day of the dark fortnight, which overlaps with August/September on the Gregorian calendar.
Many celebrations take place at midnight, as this is recognized as the traditional hour of his birth. The day before the celebrations, Hindu keep a vigil and fast until midnight. On the day of his birth, baby statues of Krishna are bathed in water and milk, dressed in new clothes and placed in a cradle. The celebrations continue with decorating homes and temples, singing, dancing, visiting temples and preparing special food. In some regions of India, parents dress their children as characters from the legends of Krishna.Sources: Krishna Janmashtami, Wikipedia; Janmashtami, Encyclopedia Britannica
Date: August 13-15
An annual Japanese festival honoring one’s ancestors. The three-day festival has been celebrated for more than 500 years and it is believed that ancestors’ spirits return during this time to visit their relatives.
During Obon, lanterns are hung on houses to guide the ancestors’ spirits, obon dances are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made to altars and temples. At the end of Obon, the lanterns are placed in rivers, lakes and seas to guide the ancestors’ spirits back to their world.