The other day I tried to persuade my mother in law that she didn't need to pull out the weeds in my garden (there are more than just a few at the moment) in the 35 degree plus heat. Her response was that soon the ancestors as well as the people coming to pray for the ancestors would be coming to visit so the place needed to be tidied up a bit. In response I have been getting up early and trying to pull a few weeds before everyone else wakes up and pulling a few more in the evenings, but it isn't having too much impact!
Today was grave cleaning day. The family grave and the area around it was all cleaned - the grass cut and burnt. This is all in preparation for Obon - the festival which is held over 3 days to remember the deceased. On the first day the family goes to the grave and piggybacks the ancestors to their home where they stay until the last day when they are piggybacked back again. It is a Buddhist festival and therefore not a public holiday, but many companies etc. take holidays and it is one of the main times of the year for families to get together. Of course the cleaning needs to be done first.... I have got as far as the curtains and light shades.... I think I need some extra help if I am going to get it all done in time!