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Obon (お盆) is a traditional Japanese event to welcome the sprits of ancestors. It is mainly observed from August 13th to August 16th, although in some areas it is also observed in mid July. It is believed that each year during obon, the ancestors' spirits return to this world in order to visit their relatives. The Obon week in mid August is one of Japan's three major holiday seasons (alongside New Year and Golden Week). Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of houses to guide the ancestors' spirits, obon dances are performed, graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples.