Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple, 505 E. Third St. (at Central) in Little Tokyo, will hold its 2012 Obon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29, from 12 to 9 p.m.
Obon is a traditional event to honor and express gratitude to the spirits of our ancestors, those before us who provided us with the gift of life. The Obon Festival is held as a celebration of the return of the spirits of our ancestors. It features food, games and prizes for children and adults, bingo, a farmer’s market, a flower market, tea ceremony demonstrations, traditional Bon Odori dancing, and various types of entertainment.
Hatsubon service will be held Sunday at 11 a.m., Manto-e services both days at 6 p.m., and Bon Odori both days at 6:30 p.m. (The final dance practice is on Friday, July 20, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in the Social Hall.)
The tradition of Manto-e, which originated about 1,200 years ago, is to light the sky with “ten thousand lanterns,” originating about 1,200 years ago. Manto-e lanterns can be offered in memory of a departed loved one. To apply for a lantern, click here.
The Ogasawara Ryu Sencha Matsumura Shachu tea ceremony, which is celebrating 20 years at the Higashi Honganji Obon Festival, is scheduled for Sunday at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. downstairs in Room 2.
The emcees for the entertainment will be Shin Ito and Rodney Kageyama. The performance schedule (subject to change) is as follows:
Saturday, July 8
1 p.m. — Live 4 Today
2 p.m. — Bodhi Tree
2:30 p.m. — Garvey Ranch Dojo
3 p.m. — hereandnow
3:30 p.m. — TaikoProject
4:15 p.m. — Halau Hula ‘a’ ala Anuhea
5 p.m. — Bombu/Kitsune Taiko
6 p.m. — Manto-e service
6:15 p.m. — happyfunsmile
6:30 p.m. — Bon Odori
Sunday, July 29
2 p.m. — Lumbini Child Development
2:30 p.m. — Fujima Kansei Odori Kai
3 p.m. — Local Mojo
4 p.m. — Zuma/Somen Contest
4:30 p.m. — Bombu/Kitsune Taiko
5:30 p.m. — happyfunsmile
6 p.m. — Manto-e service
6:30 p.m. — happyfunsmile/Bon Odori
Parking will be available at the Medical Building at 420 E. Third St., across from the temple (entrance on Boyd Street) for a discounted maximum daily fee of $5 plus a complimentary Obon raffle ticket valued at $3. In order to receive a discount voucher and raffle ticket, bring your parking stub to the raffle booth.
Note: The Medical Building parking lot closes at 10 p.m., and other parking lots in Little Tokyo close earlier.
To purchase gift certificates for food items in $5 increments, click here for the form and send it with payment to the temple office.