By STACY ST. JAMES
Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim celebrated the 2022 Obon festival with odori (dance) on July 16 and 17.
Obon observances are a time to honor those who have gone before us and to remember them with gratitude. The two-day celebration was an intimate (and private) event this year due to ongoing COVID concerns and attendance was limited to members and their families.
Festival organizers are optimistic that all OCBC community events will return to full capacity in the near future and that anyone who wants to come and join in the fun will be welcomed.
Throughout the entire event, family and friends enjoyed festival entertainment including dancing, raffles, games, and drum performances from Daion Taiko (one of the oldest Japanese American Buddhist taiko groups in the U.S.). Festival menu favorites included teriyaki chicken, cha shu pork, won ton, somen, and fresh corn on the cob. A variety of boutiques featured hand-crafted items, assorted live plants, and delicious baked goods. Also, one-of-a-kind vintage kimono, yukata, and accessories were available at very friendly prices.
At sunset, festival attendees donned colorful yukata and happi coats and danced to traditional Japanese folk songs as taiko drummers kept time with the music. Dancers and spectators were grateful that temperatures were milder than expected and a cool breeze enhanced the evening’s festivities.
Photos by SARAH ANDO