O-bon is a multi-day holiday celebrated throughout Japan in August, when the spirits of the deceased supposedly return to their familial homes. The living also travel back to their hometowns to visit with family members. One part of the holiday, performed in Nagasaki, is Shoro Nagashi, in which lanterns are lit and set adrift on the rivers, as a way of mourning those who have passed away in the past year and seeing them off to the spirit realm.

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