2016 Obon season calendar
June 25, 2017 | 75° | Check Traffic

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2016 Obon season calendar

As the dark-blue dusk sets in, the strings of colorful paper lanterns overhead are just beginning to glow. Dozens of bon dancers move in near unison in a continuous circle, motioning with their arms, twirling and clapping around the yagura, a raised platform in the center draped in festive red and white curtains.

They are men, women, keiki and kupuna, propelled by the steady beat of taiko drums accompanied by singers and bamboo flute and shamisen musicians, all in celebration of their ancestors.

It’s bon dance season in Hawaii.

“Obon has been translated loosely as ‘festival of the dead,’” said Derrick Iwata, education specialist at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i. “But there are a few people, including myself, who actually like to say ‘festival of life.’ During the time of bon, your family and ancestors come back to visit you.”

Rooted in Buddhism, bon, or Obon, is one of three major holiday seasons in Japan. Traditionally, lanterns are hung in front of homes to guide spirits, obon dances (bon odori) are performed, ancestors’ graves are visited and food offerings are made at house altars and temples.

At the end of the festival, floating lanterns are put into rivers, lakes and seas to lead the spirits back to their world.

Over the decades, the annual festivals have evolved into more of a secular community event. In Japan, the bon festival takes place over three days in July or August, but in Hawaii there are bon festivals almost every weekend from June through September, from the Garden Island to the Big Island.

“Anybody’s welcome to come, Buddhist, non-Buddhist, Japanese, non-Japanese,” said Iwata, 37, who grew up attending bon dances at Waipahu Soto Mission with his parents and grandparents. “Anybody can come. Anybody can participate.”

OAHU

>> Hawaii’s Plantation Village: 5:45 p.m. June 4, 94-695 Waipahu St.; food booths open 4:30 p.m. and blessing at 5:30 p.m. Call 677-0110.

>> Kaneohe Public Library: Mini bon dance with a demonstration, 1:30 p.m. June 5, 45-829 Kamehameha Highway. Presented by Kaneohe Higashi Hongwanji. Call 233-5676.

>> Ewa Hongwanji Mission: 7 to 10 p.m. June 18, 91-1133 Renton Road; service at 6 p.m. Call 681-5222.

>> Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin: 6 to 10:30 p.m. June 24 and 25, 1727 Pali Highway. Call 536-7044 or visit hawaiibetsuin.org.

>> Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission: 7 to 10 p.m. June 24 and 25, 1067 California Ave.; food booths open 6 p.m. Kicks off with a children’s lantern parade, also features temple tour. Call 622-4320 or 392-3253, or email office@wahiawahongwanji.org.

>> Koganji Temple: 5 to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2, 2869 Oahu Ave., Manoa; food booths open 5 p.m. A children’s lantern parade July 1 begins 5:30 p.m.; sign up at 4:45 p.m. Call 732-0446.

>> Moiliili Hongwanji Mission: 6:30 to 10 p.m. July 1 and 2, 1100 University Ave. (old Varsity Theatre parking lot); food booths open 5 p.m., service at 6 p.m. Call 949-1659 or visit moiliilihongwanji.org. Moiliili Summer Fest on July 2, 5:30 to 10 p.m. with keiki activities and retail, food booths to be held in conjunction with the second night of the mission bon dance (6:30 to 10:30 p.m., with a service at 6:15 p.m.) Parking available at the University of Hawaii parking structure with free shuttle service. Visit moiliilisummerfest.com.

>> Kaneohe Higashi Hongwanji: 6:30 to 10 p.m. July 2, 45-520 Kea‘ahala Road; food booths open 5:30 p.m., with service at 6 p.m. Also features a mini lesson. Parking available at Benjamin Parker Elementary School. Call 247-2661 or visit kaneohe.hhbt-hi.org.

>> Rissho Kosei-kai Buddhist Church of Hawaii: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 8 and 9, 2280 Auhuhu St., Pearl City; food booths open 6 p.m. Call 455-3212.

>> Koboji Shingon Mission: 7 to 10:30 p.m. July 8 and 9, 1223B North School St. Parking available at Damien Memorial School. Call 841-7033.

>> Haleiwa Jodo Mission: 8 p.m. July 8 and 9, 66-279A Haleiwa Road, with Toba services 6:30 p.m. both nights and a Toro Nagashi (floating lantern ceremony) July 9 at 10 p.m. Call 637-4382.

>> Waipahu Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 9, 94-821 Kuhaulua St.; service at 6 p.m. Call 677-4221.

>> Jikoen Hongwanji Mission: 6 to 9:30 p.m. July 15 and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 16, 1731 N. School St. Parking available at Kapalama Elementary School. Call 845-3422.

>> Shinshu Kyokai Mission: 7 to 10:30 p.m. July 15 and 16, 1631 S. Beretania St.; services at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Call 973-0150.

>> Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 15 and 16, 164 California Ave. Features a Ryugen Taiko performance 7 p.m. July 15 and 8:30 p.m. both nights, and an Okinawan bon dance by Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai 9 p.m. July 16. Call 622-1429.

>> Kailua Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 16, 268A Kuulei Road. Call 262-4560.

>> Waianae Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 16, 85-762 Old Government Road. Call 677-4221.

>> Higashi Hongwanji Betsuin: 7 p.m. July 22 and 23, 1685 Alaneo St.; services at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Call 531-9088.

>> Haleiwa Shingon Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 22 and 23, 66-469 Paalaa Road, with Great Stupa services from 6 to 8:30 p.m. both nights. Call 637-4423.

>> Palolo Hongwanji: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 29 and 30, 1641 Palolo Ave.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 732-1491.

>> Waipahu Soto Zen Temple Taiyoji: 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6, 94-413 Waipahu St. Call 671-3103.

>> Waialua Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 6, 67-313 Kealohanui St.; service at 6 p.m. Call 637-4395.

>> Shingon Shu Hawaii: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13, 915 Sheridan St.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 941-5663.

>> Pearl City Hongwanji Mission: 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13, 858 2nd St.; service at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 13. Food booths from 5:30 p.m. Call 455-1680.

>> Soto Mission of Aiea — Taiheiji: 7 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 12 and 13, 99-045 Kauhale St. Features Okinawan bon dance by Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai Aug. 13 at 9 p.m. Call 488-6794.

>> Jodo Mission of Hawaii: 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20, 1429 Makiki St. Call 949-3995.

>> Soto Mission of Hawaii — Shoboji: 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20, 1708 Nuuanu Ave. Features Okinawan bon dance by Hawaii Eisa Shinyuu Kai Aug. 20 at 8:30 p.m. Call 537-9409.

>> Mililani Hongwanji Mission: 7 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20, 95-257 Kaloapau St. A lantern parade Aug. 19 begins 6:45 p.m., with food booths at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 625-0925 or visit mililanihongwanji.org.

>> Valley of the Temples Memorial Park: Aug. 20, time TBA. Byodo-in Temple, 47-200 Kahekili Highway. Call 239-8811.

>> Kapahulu Center: 6 p.m. Aug. 27, 3410 Campbell Ave.; food booths open 4 p.m. Call 737-1748.

>> Nichiren Mission of Hawaii: 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 27, 33 Pulelehua Way, Nuuanu; food booths open 5 p.m. Parking available at Nuuanu Congregational Church with free shuttle service. Call 595-3517.

>> Aiea Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 27, 99-186 Puakala St.; service at 6 p.m. Call 488-5685.

>> Honbushin Odori Festival: Sept. 10 (time pending), Honbushin International Center, 95-030 Waihonu St., Mililani. Call 623-7693 or visit honbushin.us.

HAWAII ISLAND

>> Hawaii Japanese Center: Noon June 4, 751 Kanoelehua Ave., Hilo. Call 934-9611.

>> Honomu Henjoji Mission: 7 p.m. June 11, 28-1668 Old Mamalahoa Highway; service at 5 p.m. Call 963-6308.

>> Obon Festival: 6 p.m. June 18, Keauhou Shopping Center. Sponsored by Kona Hongwanji Mission. Call 323-2993.

>> Papaikou Hongwanji Mission: 7 to 10:30 p.m. June 18, 27-378 Old Mamalahoa Highway; service at 6 p.m. Call 964-1640.

>> Honomu Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. June 25, 28-1658 Government Main Road; service at 6 p.m. Call 963-6032.

>> Puna Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 1 and 2, 16-592 Old Volcano Road; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 966-9981.

>> Kohala Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 2, 53-4300 Akoni Pule Highway, Kapaau; service at 6 p.m. Call 775-7232.

>> Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin: 7 p.m. July 8 and 9, 398 Kilauea Ave.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 961-6677.

>> Daifukuji Soto Mission in Kona: 7 to 10 p.m. July 9 , 79-7241 Mamalahoa Highway, Honalo; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 322-3524; visit daifukuji.org.

>> Kohala Jodo Mission: 7 p.m. July 9, 54-541 Kapaau Road; service at 6 p.m. Call 987-8495.

>> Paauilo Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 p.m. July 9, 43-1477 Hauola Road; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 776-1369.

>> Honokaa Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 16, 45-516 Lehua St.; service at 5:30 p.m. Call 775-7232.

>> Keei Buddhist Church: 7 p.m. July 16 on Middle Keei Road, South Kona. Call 323-2993.

>> Hilo Meishoin: 8 p.m. July 16, 97 Olona St.; service at 7 p.m. Call 935-6996.

>> Hilo Hooganji Mission: 7:30 p.m. July 23, 457 Manono St.; service at 6 p.m. Toro Nagashi(floating lantern ceremony), 7 p.m. July 24 at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor. Call 935-8331.

>> Kona Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. July 23, 81-6630 Mamalahoa Highway, Kealakekua, with a lantern parade at 6:30 p.m. Call 323-2993.

>> Papaaloa Hongwanji Mission: 6 p.m. July 23, 35-2026 Old Mamalahoa Highway; service at 5 p.m. Call 962-6340.

>> Hilo Daijingu: 7 p.m. July 29, 10 Anela St.; service at 6 p.m. Call 959-8611.

>> Taishoji Soto Mission: 7 to 10:30 p.m. July 30, 275 Kinoole St., Hilo. Toro Nagashi, 5 p.m. July 31, Wailoa Small Boat Harbor. Call 640-9956.

>> Hawi Jodo Mission: 6 p.m. Aug. 6, 55-1104 Akoni Pule Highway; service at 5 p.m. Call 987-8495.

>> Kurtistown Jodo Mission: 8 p.m. Aug. 6, 17-420 Kuaaina Road; service at 7 p.m. Call 936-7828.

>> Paauilo Kongoji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 6, 43-1461 Hauola Road; service at 5:30 p.m. Call 776-1474.

>> Hamakua Jodo Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 13 in Honokaa; service at 6 p.m. Call 987-8495.

>> Hilo Higashi Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, 216 Mohouli St. Call 935-8968.

>> Kona Koyasan Daishiji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, 76-5945 Mamalahoa Highway, Holualoa; service at 5 p.m. Call 324-1741.

>> Life Care Center of Hilo: 6 p.m. Aug. 19, 944 West Kawailani St. Call 959-9151.

>> Hakalau Jodo Mission: 8 p.m. Aug. 20, 29-2271 Old Mamalahoa Highway; service at 7 p.m. Call 936-7828.

>> Kamuela Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 20, 65-1110 Mamalahoa Highway; service at 6 p.m. Call 885-4481.

>> Pahala Hongwanji Mission: 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21, 96-1123 Pa‘auau Place; service at 4 p.m. Call 937-4773.

>> Honohina Hongwanji Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 27, 32-896 Mamalahoa Highway, Ninole; service at 6 p.m. Call 345-6869.

>> Pahoa Kaikan: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Pahoa Village Road; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 966-9981.

KAUAI

>> Lihue Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. June 3 and 4, 3-3530 Kuhio Highway; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 245-6262.

>> Waimea Shingon Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. June 10 and 11, 3770 Pule Road, Waimea.; services at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Call 338-1854.

>> Kapaa Jodo Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. June 17 and 18, 4524 Hauaala Road; food booths open 6 p.m. Call 822-4319.

>> West Kauai Hongwanji (Waimea): 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. June 24 and 25, 4675 Menehune Road; service at 6 p.m. June 24. Call 335-3195.

>> Kapaa Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 8 and 9, 4-1170 Kuhio Highway; service at 6 p.m. July 8. Call 822-4667.

>> Waimea Higashi Hongwanji: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 15 and 16, 9554 Kaumualii Highway; services at 6:30 p.m. July 15 and 7 p.m. July 16. Call 338-1847.

>> Kauai Soto Zen Temple: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 22 and 23, 1-3500 Kaumualii Highway, Hanapepe, with services at 6 p.m. Call 245-2841.

>> Koloa Jodo Mission: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 29 and 30, 3480 Waikomo Road; food booths open 6 p.m. Call 742-6735 or visit koloajodo.com.

>> West Kauai Hongwanji (Hanapepe): 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6, 1-3860 Kaumualii Highway; service at 6 p.m. Aug. 5. Call 335-3195.

MAUI

>> Lahaina Shingon Mission: 7:30 p.m. June 4, 682 Luakini St.; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 661-0466.

>> Puunene Nichiren Mission: 8 p.m. June 11, 9 Ani St.; service at 7 p.m. Call 871-4831.

>> Wailuku Jodo Mission: 8 p.m. June 17, 67 Central Ave.; food booths at 6:30 p.m., service at 7 p.m. Call 244-0066.

>> Wailuku Shingon Mission: 7:30 p.m. June 18, 1939 North St.; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 244-3800.

>> Lahaina Jodo Mission: 8 p.m. July 2, 12 Ala Moana St.; service at 6:30 p.m. Floating lantern ceremony, 7:30 p.m. Call 661-4304.

>> Mantokuji Soto Mission of Paia: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. July 8 and 9, 253 Hana Highway. Call 579-8051.

>> Kahului Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 p.m. July 15 and 16, 291 South Puunene Ave.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 871-4732 or visit kahuluihongwanji.org.

>> Makawao Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 p.m. July 22 and 23, 1074 Makawao Ave.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 572-7229.

>> Wailuku Hongwanji Mission: 8 p.m. July 29 and 30, 1828 Vineyard St.; services at 6:45 p.m. both nights. Call 244-0406.

>> Lahaina Hongwanji Mission: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and 6, 551 Wainee St.; services at 6 p.m. both nights. Call 661-0640.

>> Kahului Jodo Mission: 7:30 to 10 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20, 325 Laau St.; food booths open 5 p.m., with services at 6:30 p.m. both nights. Call 871-4911.

>> Rinzai Zen Mission: 7 p.m. Aug. 20, 120 Alawai Road, Paia; service at 6 p.m. Call 579-9921.

>> Kula Shofukuji Shingon Mission: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27, 53 Upper Kula Road; service at 6:30 p.m. Call 661-0466.

LANAI AND MOLOKAI

>> Lanai Hongwanji Mission: 6 p.m. July 9, 1364 Fraser Ave. Call 565-6817.

>> Guzeiji Soto Mission of Molokai: 6 to 9 p.m. July 30 on Hotel Street in Kaunakakai; service at 5 p.m. Call 553-5197.

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