Obon Festival returns to Buddhist Temple

© 2018-Register-Pajaronian

(Photo by Mas Hashimoto)

WATSONVILLE — Every year, Japanese Buddhist communities across the world come together to celebrate and honor their ancestors.

Obon is a custom that dates back hundreds of years. While it varies from region to region, one commonality remains: it is a joyous celebration.

The Watsonville Buddhist Temple will hold its annual Obon Festival on Sunday, and they invite the public to come share in the festivities.

Things will kick off at noon, with a farmer’s market and food stands opening. Various foods such as sushi, udon (Japanese noodles), teriyaki chicken, beef skewers, curry rice, cabbage, korokke (a potato side dish) and strawberry shortcake will be offered.

At 2 p.m. there will be a special performance on the Koto, a stringed instrument that is widely used in traditional Japanese music. Watsonville Taiko will then take to the stage at 3:30 p.m. to prepare the audience for the main dancing event that begins at 4 p.m.

A highlight of Obon every year, the traditional Japanese Obon dances are a colorful event, with dancers having practiced twice a week for the past few weeks. Toward the end of the festivities the public is invited to stay and learn the dances.

Other activities include kids’ games, a raffle and a silent auction.

For information on the festival, call 724-7860 or email [email protected]

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