The annual O-Bon festival starts Monday at Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin next to Starbucks in downtown Hilo. Various activities will run through Sunday, July 21.
“The public is welcome to all the activities, including the various services and evening O-Bon odori, the dances that follow in the Sangha Hall,” said spokeswoman Corliss Yamaki. “This annual event offers the opportunity for a ‘joyous gathering’ in memory of loved ones who have passed away.”
Both bon services at Hilo Betsuin’s temple are Hatsubon (first bon observance)as well as regular bon observances. All who wish to participate in a bon memorial are welcome. Guest speaker for the Friday and Saturday night services, as well as the Sunday services, will be the Rev. Hiromi Kawaji.
“Colorful lanterns lighting the way, joyous dancing and music filling the night, reflective memories warming your hearts — all await you. Please join us,” said Yamaki.
Services and events are scheduled as follows: Monday, July 15: 5 p.m. graveside services at Alae Cemetery; Wednesday, July 17: 5 p.m. services at Homelani Columbarium; Friday, July 19: 6 p.m. services at the temple, followed by bon dancing from 7 to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 20: 6 p.m services at temple, bon dancing from 7 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, July 21: 9 a.m. English service and 10:30 a.m. Japanese service.