August 3rd, Saturday, was our Obon Festival!
Sangha members prepared for this big event for a long time, led by the chairs Charley and Jerry. There were big changes from past Obon this year -- one of the biggest changes was closing the street in front of the temple! Various vendors and activity booths were on the street, along with a shiny red fire truck from Portland Fire and Rescue.
We also had a lot of different foods on the menu this year. Food chairs have focused on the types of food that are easy to eat -- in a bowl, or on a stick! These past couple of months, the temple was a very busy place with members going in and out, working hard to prepare for this once a year festival.
August 3rd came very quickly, and 3pm came very fast -- and the Obon fest had officially started.
This year, OBT welcomed Minidoka Swing Band, White Lotus Lion Dance and Portland Taiko to share their amazing art forms.
Minidoka Swing Band, playing the nostalgic and fun Big Band Swing music as a tribute to Japanese Americans interned during WWII.
White Lotus Lion Dance, shared their lively performance of Lions scaring away evil spirits and bringing joy and prosperity.
Portland Taiko -- with the roaring rhythm of the drums, mesmerized the audience.
As we had opened up the street this year, we had more rooms for vendors and activity booths, which also left more room for downstairs space for kimono sale and omiyage store.
Street booth had a fun selection of massage space, bonsai, art and craft pieces, green tea, shaved ice, cotton candy, children's crafts and activities. And ofcourse, the shiny red fire truck and the firefighters!!!
During the festival, Rev.Yuki gave two temple talks inside the hondo, to introduce Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, to the people who gathered that day. He has a knack of getting the messages across through short, simple and oftentimes funny talks, and through music. Come to the temple on Sundays, and subscribe to our Youtube channel to hear his Dharma messages!
Then 7pm came, as the cooler summer breezes swiped through the festival ground. Lanterns dancing against the sky, dancing, ahead of the people. Led by Chris, the Obon dance teacher, dancers entered the festival ground to make a huge circle. People joined in to make several rings of circles around the yagura of taiko.
Then, we danced.
Obon is a very unique experience, of dancing together, thinking of the friends and family you miss, in a happy way.
Come to our Obon! Volunteer! Eat! Enjoy! Dance!!
Next Obon fest -- August 1st, Saturday, 2020!
Thank you Charley, Jerry, and other chairs of Obon 2019, who worked without stopping to make this happen. Thank you to everyone who put their time and talent for Obon. Thank you to everyone who came, hope you all had a good time, and hope to see you again in 2020!!!
Upcoming Events at OBT
Aug.18 (Sun) Nikkei Community Picnic at Oaks Park
Sept 2 (Mon) Gomonshu's visit to OBT