Obon Festival set for July 15 in Seabrook

Bridgeton News, June 26, 2006

UPPER DEERFIELD TWP, New Jersey (USA) -- Attired in colorful summer kimonos, dancers from New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., and the greater Delaware Valley will descend on the Seabrook Buddhist Temple Saturday, July 15, for the 61st Annual Obon Dance Festival.

 << Obon remains one of the most important Buddhist observances. It is celebrated in several Asian countries but none with more extravagance than Japan (filepic).

Obon is a timely expression of indebtedness to family members and friends who have departed, and is a joyful reflection of gratitude, according to a press release from the Temple.

Highlighted by a performance by the Dharma School Taiko Group and the Hoh Daiko Drummers, the festival will also include a performance by the famous Soh Daiko Drummers of New York.

Ethnic food booths and craft tables will open at 5 p.m., and the meditation garden will be open for viewing until 6:30 p.m.

From 6 to 6:45 p.m. there will be a short lecture on Buddhism in the Temple with the Rev. Naoki Kono, resident minister.

At 7 p.m. the dancing will begin, and audience participation is welcome.

While there is no parking or admissions fees, attendees are encouraged to bring their own folding or lawn chairs for comfortable seating.

An Obon Memorial Service will also be held Sunday, July 16, at 11 a.m.