The San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will hold its annual Obon Festival on Saturday, June 24, from 4:30 to 10 p.m. and Sunday, June 25, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St. in Pacoima.
Festivities will kick off at 4:30 p.m. in the gym on Saturday and Sunday with a showcase of SFVJACC club demonstrations of hula, tai chi, ondo dancing, country western and line
By 6 p.m., the space will be transformed into a “museum” of local Japanese American history including the World War II-era Tuna Canyon Detention Station and Eiko Masuyama’s “Buddhism in Camps” display.
In addition, learn about our sangha’s nearly 100-year-long history in the San Fernando Valley; and find out the answer to the burning question, “What is Obon?”
Local nonprofit organizations, EGAO and Nikkei Senior Gardens, will also have a presence.
At the yagura, you will hear the booming taiko performances of Sun Valley Taiko (Akaoni Daiko) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Obon Odori dancing will follow, beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. All attendees are encouraged to join in the simple and fun dances “just as you are,” to celebrate the Buddhist “Gathering of Joy,” which started centuries ago as a religious custom to remember and express gratitude to deceased loved ones.
Take in cultural arts such as bonsai, Japanese flower arrangement and Japanese doll-making! Enjoy family carnival games!
Get your fill of delicious ethnic foods such as chicken teriyaki sandwiches or kalua pork sandwiches, dango, Chinese chicken salad, udon noodles, sushi, somen, baked goods and more!
Enter a raffle for a chance to win up to $1,000 and cool off in the Bingo Hall with its Buddhist bookstore and Japanese flea market!
Obon dance practices will be held Tuesday and Thursday, June 20 and 22, from 6:30 p.m. at the San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 9450 Remick Ave., Pacoima.
Free and open to the public. There will be something for everyone. Please, no pets. For more information, call (818) 899-4030 or go to https://www.sfvhbt.org/obon-festival.