Photo: Manoa Koganji Temple, Oahu

Summer bon dance season in Hawaii 2014. Here's a complete schedule.

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Bon dance season in Hawaii begins this month.

If you’re visiting the Islands this summer—anytime between now and August—and have never experienced the annual Japanese Buddhist tradition in person, we suggest you put an evening aside, and attend a local bon dance. We’ve got a complete 2014 schedule of Hawaii bon dances below. Here’s why you’ll want to go:

The custom of o-bon—most in Hawaii shorten the word to bon—honors the spirits of family members that have passed away. You’ll find o-bon festivals just about every weekend evening at Hawaii hongwanji missions and temples from June through August. According to tradition, it is believed the summer months are when ancestral spirits return to visit family and friends.

In Japan, the tradition of summer o-bon festivals dates back more than 500 years. Here in the Islands, however, the festivals serve as both a ceremony of spiritual remembrance and a celebration of cultural heritage and community. Everyone is welcome at an o-bon festival, regardless of religious background or ethnicity. As such, each temple’s festival—and there are dozens all summer—is often very well-attended.

O-bon festivals are perhaps best known for the dances that participants engage in, known as bon-odori. The dance differs slightly depending on the Japanese prefecture of its origin, but generally involves people circling around a high wooden scaffold called a yagura.

The festivals are also known for their array of Japanese foods for sale—andagi (sweet fried dough), grilled teri-beef and –chicken skewers, musubi (rice balls wrapped in dried seaweed), stir-fry noodles—meant to nourish dancers and raise money for the host hongwanji. Bring an appetite. You’ll want to try all of it.

Also make sure you bring a camera to capture it all.

2014 Hawaii bon dance and o-bon festival schedule, by island

BIG ISLAND

• June 14
Honomu Henjoji Mission, 28-1658 Government Main Road, Honomu, 7 p.m.

• June 21
Papaikou Hongwanji Mission, Onomea Scenic Route, Papaikou, 7 p.m.

• June 28
Honomu Hongwanji Mission, 28-1668 Government Main Road, Honomu, 7 p.m.

July 4, 5
Puna Hongwanji Mission, 16-592 Old Volcano Road, Keaau, 7 p.m.

• July 5
Kohala Hongwanji Mission, 53-4300 Akoni Pule Highway, Kapaau, 7 p.m.


• July 11, 12
Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, 398 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, 7 p.m.


• July 12
Kona Daifukuji Soto Mission, 79-7241 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, 7 p.m.
Kohala Jodo Mission, Hawi, 7 p.m.
Paauilo Hongwanji Mission, 43-1477 Hauola Road, Paauilo, 7 p.m.


• July 18, 19
Hilo Meishoin, 97 Olona St. Hilo, 7:30 p.m.

• July 19
Honokaa Hongwanji Mission, 45-5016 Plumeria St., Honokaa, 7 p.m.

Keei Buddhist Church & Cemetery, 83-5569 Middle Keei Road, Captain Cook, 7 p.m.

• July 26
Papaaloa Hongwanji Mission, Papaaloa, 6 p.m.

Hilo Hongwanji Mission, 457 Manono St. Hilo, 7:30 p.m.
Kona Hongwanji Mission, 81-6630 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, 7 p.m.


• Aug. 2
Hawi Jodo Mission, Hawi, 7 p.m.
Paauilo Kongoji Mission, 43-1461 Hauola Road, Paauilo, 7 p.m.
Taishoji Soto Mission, 275 Kinoole St., Hilo, 7 p.m.
Kurtistown Jodo Mission, Iwasaki Camp Road, Kurtistown, 8 p.m.

• Aug. 9
Hamakua Jodo Mission, Honokaa, 7 p.m.
Kona Koyasan Daishiji Mission, 76-5945 A Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, 7 p.m.
Hilo Higashi Hongwanji, 216 Mohouli St., Hilo, 8 p.m.

• Aug. 15
Life Care Center, 944 W Kawailani St., Hilo, 6 p.m.

• Aug. 16
Kamuela Hongwanji Mission, Church Row, Kamuela, 7 p.m.

Hakalau Jodo Mission, Hakalau, 8 p.m.

• Aug. 23
Pahoa YBA Kaikan, Pahoa, 8 p.m.

• Aug. 30
Honohina Hongwanji Mission, 32-896 Mamalahoa Hwy, Ninole, 7 p.m.

SOURCE: Tsukikage Odorikai

 

KAUAI 

 

• June 6, 7
Kapaa Jodo Mission, 4524 Hauaala Road, Kapaa, 7:30 p.m.

• June 13, 14
West Kauai Hongwanji Waimea Temple, 4675 Menehune Road, Waimea, 7:30 p.m.


• June 20, 21
Kapaa Hongwanji Mission, 1170 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, 7:30 p.m.


• June 27, 28
Waimea Higashi Hongwanji, 9554 Kaumualii Hwy, Waimea, 7:30 p.m.

• July 11, 12
Kauai Soto Mission Zenshuji, 1-3500 Kaumualii Hwy, Hanapepe, 7:30 p.m.

• July 18, 19
Koloa Jodo Mission, 3480 Waikomo Road, Koloa, 7:30 p.m.

• July 25, 26
West Kauai Hongwanji Hanapepe Temple, 1-3860 Kaumualii Hwy, Hanapepe, 7:30 p.m.


• Aug. 1, 2
Lihue Hongwanji Mission, 3-3556 A Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, 7:45 p.m.

• Aug. 8, 9
Waimea Shingon Mission, 3770 Pule Road, Waimea, 7:30 p.m.

SOURCE: Koloa Jodo Mission

 

LANAI
 

• July 12
Lanai Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 1364 Fraser Ave., Lanai City, 6:30 p.m.

SOURCE: Lanai Hongwanji

 

MAUI 

 

• June 7
Lahaina Shingon Mission, 682 Luakini St., Lahaina, 6:30 p.m.

• June 14
Puunene Nichiren Mission, 9 Ani St., Kahului, 7 p.m.

• June 20
Wailuku Jodo Mission, 67 Central Ave., Wailuku, 7 p.m.

• June 21
Wailuku Shingon Mission, 1939 North St., Wailuku, 6:30 p.m.

• July 5
Lahaina Jodo Mission, 12 Ala Moana St., Lahaina, 6:30 p.m.

• July 11, 12
Paia Mantokuji Soto Mission, 253C Hana Hwy., Paia, 6 p.m.

• July 18, 19
Kahului Hongwanji Mission, 291 S. Puunene Ave., Kahului, 6:30 p.m.


• July 25, 26
Makawao Hongwanji Mission, 1074 Makawao Ave., Makawao, 6:30 p.m.


• Aug. 1, 2
Wailuku Hongwanji Mission, 1828 Vineyard St., Wailuku, 6:45 p.m.

• Aug. 9
Kahului Jodo Mission, 325 Laau St., Kahului, 6:30 p.m.

• Aug. 16
Rinzai Zen Mission, 120 Alawai Road, Paia, 6 p.m.

• Aug. 22, 23
Lahaina Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 551 Wainee St., Lahaina, 6 p.m.


• Aug. 30
Kula Shofukuji Shingon Mission, Puanani Place, Kula, 6:30 p.m.

SOURCE: Rinzai Zen Mission

 

MOLOKAI
 

• Aug. 28
Guzeiji Soto Mission, 90 Hotel Lane, Kaunakakai, 5:30 p.m.

 

SOURCE: Guzejii Soto Mission

 

OAHU
 

• June 21
Ewa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 91-113 Renton Road, Ewa Beach, 7 p.m.

• June 27, 28
Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, 1727 Pali Highway, Honolulu, 6:30 p.m.
Wahiawa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 1067 California Ave., Wahiawa, 6:30 p.m.


• July 4
Moiliili Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 2535 S. King St., Honolulu, 6 p.m.

• July 5
Kaneohe Higashi Hongwanji Temple, 45-52- Keaahala Road, Kaneohe, 6:30 p.m.

• July 11, 12
Waipahu Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 94-821 Kuhaulua St., Waipahu, 7 p.m.
Koboji Shingon Mission, 1223-B N. School St., Honolulu, 7 p.m.
Haleiwa Shingon Mission, 66-469 Paala Road, Haleiwa, 7:30 p.m.
Rissho Kose-kai Buddhist Church, 2280 Auhuhu St., Pearl City, 6:30 p.m.
Shinshu Kyokai Mission, 1631 S. Beretania St., Honolulu, 7 p.m.

• July 18, 19
Jikoen Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 1731 N. School St., Honolulu, 6 p.m.
Wahiawa Ryusenji Soto Mission, 164 California Ave., Wahiawa, 7 p.m.
Haleiwa Jodo Mission, 66-279-A Haleiwa Road, Haleiwa, 8 p.m.

• July 19
Waianae Hongwanji Mission, 85-762 Old Government Road, Waianae, 7 p.m.
Kailua Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 30-D Maulniu Ave., Kailua, 7 p.m.

• July 25, 26
Higashi Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, 1685 Alaneo St., Honolulu, 7 p.m.

• Aug. 1, 2
Palolo Higashi Hongwanji, 1641 Palolo Ave., Honolulu, 7 p.m.
Waipahu Soto Zen Temple Taiyoji, 94-413 Waipahu Road, Waipahu, 7 p.m.
Manoa Koganji Temple, 2869 Oahu Ave., Honolulu, 5:30 p.m.

• Aug. 2
Waialua Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 67-313 Kealohanui St., Waialua, 7 p.m.

• Aug. 8, 9
Shingon Shu of Hawaii, 915 Sheridan St., Honolulu, 7 p.m.
Pearl City Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 858 Second St., Pearl City, 7 p.m.

Soto Mission of Aiea-Taiheji, 99-045 Kauhale St., Aiea, 7 p.m.

• Aug. 15, 16
Jodo Mission of Hawaii, 1429 Makiki St., Honolulu, 6:30 p.m.
Mililani Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 95-257 Kaloapau St., Mililani, 7 p.m.

Soto Mission of Hawaii-Shoboji, 1708 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, 7:30 p.m.

• Aug. 23
Aiea Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 99-186 Puakala St., Aiea, 7 p.m.
Nichiren Mission of Hawaii, 33 Pulelehua Way, Honolulu, 6 p.m.

• Aug. 30
Okinawan Festival at Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, 5:30 p.m.

SOURCE: The Hawaii Herald

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