Pasadena Obon Festival This Weekend

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PASADENA — Pasadena Buddhist Temple, 1993 Glen Ave. in Pasadena, will hold its annual Obon Festival on Saturday, July 23, from 4 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 24, from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

A young dancer at last year's Bon Odori. All ages are invited to participate.

A young dancer at last year’s Bon Odori. All ages are invited to participate.

Obon honors the memory of departed relatives and friends. Both evenings at 6:30 p.m., dancers from around the Southland will gather for the traditional Bon Odori. Everyone is invited to join in.

At 6 p.m. each evening, there will be drum performances by L.A. Matsuri Taiko (Saturday) and Taiko of West L.A. Buddhist Temple (Sunday).

Food for sale will include unagi-don, cha shu bao, chirashi (Saturday), maki and inari sushi (Sunday), beef teriyaki, chicken teriyaki, hot dogs, street tacos, roasted corn, tamales (chili optional), chili rice, tsukemono, and the temple’s famous beef chow mein with pan-fried noodles. New this year are tofu salad, lumpia and matcha lemonade.

Vendors in Sakai Hall on both days: Heritage Source (booksellers), Mariko III (hand-sewn items), KisaNoreen (jewelry), Pat on the Back, Ahi Ozawa Pottery. Exhibits: Buddhist wartime camp experience, Ikenobo ikebana, Rafu Shimpo.

Spam musubi is one of many delicacies offered at the food court.

Spam musubi is one of many delicacies offered at the food court.

The big raffle prizes this year are $1,000, $500 and $250. Winners do not have to be present. Other prizes will be raffled off during the day, so buy your tickets early and maybe you’ll be a winner.

The temple sanctuary will be open to the public from 4 to 6 p.m. Revs. Gregory Gibbs and Tetsuo Unno will be present to answer questions.

For more information, call (626) 798-4781 or visit www.PasadenaBuddhistTemple.org or the temple’s Facebook page.

Schedule of events:

Saturday, July 23

4 p.m.: Qi gong, preventive medicine and healing demonstration by Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute in Sakai Hall; Hondo open for visitors to offer incense, meditate or visit with Rev. Gibbs or Rev. Unno

5 p.m.: Demonstration by Pasadena Shotokan Karate (PJCI) in Sakai Hall

5:30 p.m.: Demonstration by Pasadena Kendo Dojo (PJCI) in Sakai Hall; dressing room for kimono/yukata wearers open

6 p.m.: L.A. Matsuri Taiko performance; temple open to offer incense

6:30 p.m.: Obon dancing

8 p.m.: Silent auction closes

Sunday, July 24

4 p.m.: Hondo open for visitors to offer incense, meditate or visit with Rev. Gibbs or Rev. Unno

4:30 p.m.: Tai chi by Rev. Gibbs in Sakai Hall

5 p.m.: Kyudo demonstration by PJCI in Sakai Hall

5:30 p.m.: Demonstration by Pasadena Naginata Dojo in Sakai Hall; dressing room for kimono/yukata wearers open

6 p.m.: Taiko of West Los Angeles Buddhist Temple performance; temple open to offer incense

6:30 p.m.: Obon dancing (Part 1)

7 p.m.: Introduction of Nisei Week Queen candidates

7:15 p.m.: Obon dancing (Part 2)

8:15 p.m.: Raffle drawing

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