Mountain View Voice

News - July 16, 2010

Big in Japan: Obon festival celebrates culture

by Emily Hamilton

The Mountain View Buddhist Temple is holding their 58th annual Obon Festival and Bazaar this weekend. The festivities will take place on Saturday, July 17, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, July 18, from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The annual mid-summer holiday honors those who have passed away. A central part of the celebration is the dance. Four hundred dancers will "Dance for Joy" in the Bon Odori ritual dance in appreciation of the deceased at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

In addition to the dancing, guests at the festival will find a variety of activities. There will be an array of Japanese foods to enjoy, including sushi, tempura and udon, along with American treats like shaved ice. In the temple's cultural room, there will be an exhibit of miniature Bonsai trees, Ikebana flower arrangements, Kimekomi dolls and other traditional art. There will activities for children, including origami folding, hachi maki headband stamping and Taiko drumming.

There will be professional Taiko performances at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday. There will also be performances by the Obon Jazz Quartet and the San Jose Chidori Band.

For more information and a full schedule, visit www.mvbuddhisttemple.org

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