1. HOME
  2. Events in Kyoto
  3. The bonfire of 5 mountains in Kyoto (Dai-monji)

The bonfire of 5 mountains in Kyoto (Dai-monji)

京都五山の送り火(大文字)

The ceremonial bonfire of five mountain in Kyoto, sometimes called “Dai-monji” for short, is traditional annual event which lights up the night sky on August 16, sending the soul of the dead people to Hades. The bonfire in five-minute increments starting at 20:00 to the firebeds in 5 mountains in Kyoto and burns for less than 30 minutes each. These all are registered as Intangible Folk Cultural Properties of Kyoto City. There are various theories as to the origin of them, ranging from “originated by Kukai in the early Heian era” to “originated in the early Edo era”. It is believed that it was started and passed down from generation to generation based on the beliefs of the local people so that why it was not recorded.

The bonfire of 5 mountains in Kyoto (Dai-monji)