Interfaith Insight: Buddhist Obon

Bon Odori Festival

Tacoma Buddhist Temple recently held their annual Bon Odori Festival.

What is Bon Odori?

Bon Odori is a Buddhist dance during the festival of Obon that has been practiced since Buddhism came to Japan around 672 AD and is usually celebrated annually from August 14th-16th.  Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors.  This custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars.  Near the end of Obon the tradition of Toro Nagashi, or floating lanterns, is practiced.  People send off their ancestors’ spirits with lanterns, lit by a candle inside and floated down a river to the ocean.  Want to learn more?  Click Here.

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