SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple will hold its annual Obon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 1 to 8 p.m. at SLO Veterans Hall, 801 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo.

The event will feature Japanese food, games, vendors of Asian merchandise, a white elephant sale and silent auction, a bonsai exhibit and demonstration, a martial arts demonstration, a taiko drum performance and demonstration, a raffle, and Bon Odori.

Obon is “a time to honor and pay respects to our ancestors and those who have passed during the year … a time of thankfulness and gratitude,” explained Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano. “We share in the joy of knowing we have their love. We are who we are because of their teachings and wisdom. We dance in appreciation and gratitude.

“When we dance, we ignore what we look like or how well we dance. We dance for our ancestors and for a moment, we can release our ego-filled self. It can be a freedom from ‘carrying our baggage,’ even for a few hours. We can begin to fully appreciate the nature and potential of our lives. We hope to see you dancing, or just singing along with the songs that you remember.”

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