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Let's dance!


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POSTED: Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lanterns will glow outside Hawaii's Japanese temples during the summer Obon season as Buddhists observe the tradition of honoring the dead through ritual, music and dance.

Obon literally means “;lantern festival.”; The mellow, old-fashioned lights are intended to illuminate the path of the spirits of ancestors who return in this season. The spirits are honored with offerings of flowers, food, prayers and incense in temple rituals and on family altars.

In Japan, the Obon season is a week or two long, but bon dances have become so popular in Hawaii that the season is stretched to last all summer long. Temples take turns on successive weekends, erecting fundraising food booths along with the “;yaguro”; tower, the stage for taiko drummers, singers and deejays spinning Japanese folk songs. The experience has been embraced by island residents regardless of religion or ethnicity.

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