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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 5, 2010

Plantation Village kicks off obon season

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Obon season, a beloved Island tradition, begins today with the annual celebration at Hawaii's Plantation Village in Waipahu.

For many, obon is a time to enjoy teri sticks and shave ice in a festival atmosphere, and to watch the dancers in their graceful circles while feeling the hard-hit taiko drums' beat. For others in the various Buddhist sects, obon is a sacred season of respect for those who have gone before.

In Japan, people visit the graves of their ancestors to beckon them back for a three-day period of communion and remembrance. Bon-odori, folk dances, are held to entertain the spirits. Special foods are placed on family altars.

In Hawai'i, there is usually a religious ceremony, especially if the bon dance is held at a local temple, but the centerpiece of events here is often eating and dancing. At most festivals, anyone may join the dancers but they must wear happi coats, yukata or kimono.

At the Plantation Village, a Buddhist Sangawa ceremony will start at 4 p.m.; food sales, 5 p.m.; with dancing to follow, including five dance troupes. For more information, call 677-0110.