Summer is O-Bon Season and if you’ve never been to one, you don’t know what you are missing! Having attended O-Bon’s in Japan and Hawaii, I’d highly recommend stopping in if you have the chance.
Throughout the islands, each Buddhist Missions holds an O-Bon Festival – a time to remember one’s ancestors. Many families spend time visiting their ancestors graves / urns (many Japanese are cremated and the urns are kept in a special viewing room in the Buddhist Missions).
The O-bon also serves as one of the major fundraisers for each mission. Depending on which calendar (solar or lunar) a mission follows in Japan, the O-Bon is held either in July or August in Japan. Here in Hawaii on the neighbor islands, most missions do their O-Bon on alternating weekends, allowing them to support each other. Click here for a calendar of O-Bon festivals on Oahu.
Good food, taiko drums, games for the little ones, dancing, and in some cases, a lantern ceremony are some of the things to look forward too. If you want a unique experience that’s both Hawaiian and Japanese, don’t miss out on the festivals coming to you all summer long! If you are looking for a quick “OBon Guide for Dummies” – click on the picture below for a pictorial from Hawaii Magazine!
Even if you can’t get to Hawaii to see an O-Bon, check your local event calendar . . . more than likely, there will be an O-Bon in your neck of the woods sometime this summer! Enjoy!