Auburn embraced the 49th annual Bon Odori Festival, the midsummer celebration of color and song, last Saturday, welcoming back the departed with dancing, drumming and feasting at the White River Buddhist Temple on Auburn Way North.
For Buddhists, O-Bon is a time to reflect upon the dedicated lives of departed ancestors who made present lives possible. To celebrate, Bon Odori draws young and old together to dance, rejoice and remember their ancestors, family and friends.
Participants wore brightly-colored kimonos, yukatas and happi coats as they danced to traditional music.
O-Bon is the most popular holiday in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. According to the Jodo Shinsu tradition, O-Bon is called “Kangi-e” or “a gathering of joy in gratitude.
Bon Odori has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years.