Friday, June 12, 2009

Hot Summer Nights

Yes, summer is upon us. Summer in Hawaii means Obon Festivals at all buddhist shrines & temples around the islands. This is a welcome opportunity to get out at night, to beat the heat and to meet with other friends & community members for an evening of fun, dance, spectacle and food. You don't have to be buddhist or even religious to take part in the fun. Regular participants will be more than happy to show you the ropes and encourage you to join in. The dance is quite simple really and once or twice around the center tower and you will be an expert.

For a brief decription of the Obon Festival, see last July's blog entry here. You'll also find a few pictures of Obon festivities at Lahaina's Jodo Mission at Mala Wharf. The Jodo Obon is my all time favorite as it also is the only Maui shrine/temple that holds a floating lantern ceremony before the dancing begins. This year's Obon at Lahaina's Jodo Mission is scheduled for Friday evening July 3rd. The lantern floating ceremony begins just after services at approx. 8pm with dancing, food & fun to follow until late into the night.

A complete schedule of Obon activities throughout the state can be found here.

The kids pictured above broke out in spontaneous hula-hooping during last weeks First Friday street festival on Market Street in Wailuku. First Friday is held, obviously, on the first friday of each month and features lots of live music, arts & crafts booths, food, great restaurants and lots of fun. The cops have even now begun closing down market Street for the past two events, making it seems even more like a great street fair/block party.

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