End of O-Bon Season

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Summer time on Maui is marked in the local Japanese Buddhist community by the celebration of O-Bon festivals throughout the island. O-Bon is a festival to honor the spirit of ancestors. The festival schedule rotates amongst Maui’s various Japanese Buddhist missions throughout the summer months. I had the opportunity to attend the Bon Festival in Paia at the Mantokuji Mission. While I was more observer than participant, it was enjoyable to take in the O’Bon dance. The O’Bon dance features a variety of choreographed dances with participants dressed in traditional Kimonos. The dancers circle around a large wooden tower made specifically for the dance known as a Yagura. They dance to both live drumming and recorded traditional songs. It was a great event to experience one of the many cultures we have on Maui. The synthesis of Asian, Polynesian and European cultures is one of the things that makes the Hawaiian Islands such an interesting place to call home. If you would like to attend one of the last O-Bon festivals of the year, head up to the Kula Shofukuji Mission at 53 Upper Kula Road. The festival starts at 6:30 and the dances start at 7:30.

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