Obon Carnival and Dance at Nishi Hongwanji

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On Saturday and Sunday, July 20-21, Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple (Nishi Hongwanji), located at 815 E. First St. in Little Tokyo, will be holding its annual Obon Carnival and Dance.

“Within the Jodo Shinshu tradition, Obon is a time for Buddhists to reflect upon all that continues to influence our lives and those benefits we have received from the lives of others,” festival organizers said. “It is a time to express gratitude for being given those conditions to live this life. For Shinshu Buddhists, visitations to the cemetery and conducting memorial services are no more than an expression of the gratitude that arises when they realize those causes and conditions of their life. 

“It is this overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude that is the source for dancing during Obon.”  

The festival will feature a farmer’s market. sushi, manju, chili rice, hot dogs, somen, boba, udon, beef and chicken teriyaki plates, dango, chashu bao, snow cone, drinks, games, plant sale, and much more.

The Obon Carnival will open at 3 p.m. on both days. Obon dancing begins at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and 6:15 p.m. on Sunday.

Schedule of Events

Saturday

2 p.m.: Hatsubon service

2 to 4 p.m.: Tea ceremony (temple front)

3 p.m.: Bell tolling

3 to 8 p.m.: Cultural display (downstairs)

3:30 to 4 p.m.: Judo (in Kaikan)

5 to 10 p.m.: Bingo

Outdoor Stage (Derek Escano, emcee)

3 p.m.: Welcome from Temple President Lonny Quon

3:10 p.m.: Nishi Development Center Kids

4 p.m.: Matsutoyo Kai

4:45 p.m.: Grateful Crane Ensemble

5:45 p.m.: L.A. Matsuri Taiko

7 p.m.: Bon Odori

9 p.m.: Taka Sky

Sunday

2 p.m.: Hatsubon service

2 to 4 p.m.: Tea ceremony

3 p.m.: Bell tolling

3 to 7 p.m.: Cultural display

4 to 9 p.m.: Bingo

Outdoor Stage (Derek Escano, emcee)

2:30 p.m.: Welcome from Temple President Lonny Quon

2:40 p.m.: Nishi Development Center Kids

3:20 p.m.: Ho’Aloha Polynesian Dancers

4 p.m.: Voco Loco and the Fujazz Band

4:45 p.m.: Kotobuki no Kai (minyo)

5:20 p.m.: L.A. Matsuri Taiko

6:30 p.m.: Bon Odori

8:30 p.m.: Raffle drawing

For more information, call the Betsuin office at (213) 680-9130 or visit www.nishihongwanji-la.org/.

Dancers at Nishihongwanji’s 2012 Bon Odori. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

 

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