Toro nagashi in Hachioji, Japan - Tōrō nagashi (灯籠流し) is a Japanese ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns (chōchin) down a river; tōrō is traditionally another word for lantern, while nagashi means “cruise, flow”. This is primarily done on the last evening of the Bon Festival festival based on the belief that this guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world
This traditional festival is held in Kyoto every year on August 16th, during the Obon period. A bonfire is lit on each of the 5 mountains surrounding Kyoto, two in the shapes of the character for "big" (大), and one each in the shapes of a boat, a shrine gate, and the characters for "wondrous teaching of Buddha" (妙法). (The photo shows the bonfire in the shape of a shrine gate) These Obon bonfires are said to redeliver the souls of deceased ancestors to the afterlife.