‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Celebrates Japanese Obon Festival

'Animal Crossings: New Horizons' (Image: Nintendo)

'Animal Crossings: New Horizons' (Image: Nintendo)

Another festival, another Animal Crossing event.

This May, Animal Crossing players had the chance to enjoy England’s Cheese Rolling Day, where they could purchase double Gloucester cheese to celebrate the festival.

Last week, the game also celebrated Obon, a Japanese Buddhist custom honoring the spirits of ancestors. During this seasonal period, players could find Eggplant Cow and Cucumber Horse from the Special Goods of Nook Shopping in Resident Services.

Anyone unfamiliar with this tradition may be perplexed by these items. Both are extremely crucial to Obon.

According to Kotaku, the cucumber horse and eggplant cow are referred to as shoryoma, or vessels of souls. Japanese folklore suggests that the ancestors will ride the horse back home with maximum speed. When they return to the otherworld, they purposely choose the sluggish cows, reluctant to leave the world filled with their loved ones.

Besides the tradition of making “vessels,” during Obon Japanese families also gather to clean their ancestors’ gravestones, wear colorful summer kimonos and join festivals to sing and dance.

Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was hard to celebrate Obon in real life this year,  but Animal Crossing still gave players the opportunity to escape from reality, meet up with friends and have fun during this time-limited event.

From August 10 to 16, Eggplant Cow and Cucumber Horse were available in Nook Shopping.

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