Ulambana (Ancestor Day)
Ulambana (Ancestor Day) is a festival that coincides with the first fifteenth days of the eighth lunar month, when ancestors souls are believed to visit the earth. It is believed that the gates of Hell are opened on the first day and the ghosts may visit the world for fifteen days.
People customarily go to the cemetery to pay their respects to the departed ancestors by making offerings to appease their souls. Food offerings are made to relieve the sufferings of these ghosts.
Ulambana is a festival in the Mahayana tradition though many Theravadins from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand also observe this festival. Ulambana is also a Japanese Buddhist festival known as Obon, beginning on the thirteenth of July and lasting for three days, which celebrates the reunion of family ancestors with the living.