By Diane Ako
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park will celebrate the second annual Obon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Similar to America’s Thanksgiving, Obon marks a time when families reunite to celebrate their heritage with loved ones and ancestors who have passed away.
Held since the seventh century, Obon is a tradition that preserves Japanese heritage and passes the country’s culture to younger generations. In addition, two round-trip tickets to Japan will be given away during the event, courtesy of Valley of the Temples Memorial Park.
This year’s daylong festivities will begin with a traditional opening ceremony that calls upon the spirits of ancestors through incense burning and the offering of a prayer. Performers, including Wa-Taiko, Aikido and Naginata, are among those providing the day’s entertainment. The event will conclude when spirits will be symbolically guided back to the world of the deceased with illuminated lotus water lanterns lighting their way.
This family-friendly event will provide entertainment, fun events, activities and prizes for kids. Food and shaved ice will be available for purchase.
WHERE: Valley of the Temples Memorial Park
47-200 Kahekili Highway
Kaneohe, HI 96744
WHEN: Saturday, August 16, 2014
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
WHO: Entertainment includes:
· Traditional Bon Dance
· Floating Lantern Ceremony with free lotus water lanterns
· Dharma Talk & opera
· Minyo & drawing
· Okinawan Dance, music & drawing
Visit www.valley-of-the-temples.com/who-we-are/community-events or call (808) 236-4078 for more information.