Obon Festival Celebrated in Upper Deerfield

August 15, 2005

Source: The Daily Journal


On August 15, 2005 The Daily Journal reported, "Seabrook Buddhist Temple members celebrated their 60th annual Obon Festival this weekend with incense, dance, drums and colorful lanterns. The holiday is a happy occasion, when Buddhists believe the souls of departed relatives and ancestors come back to Earth to be with the living. The event is held outdoors at night because it's believed that's when the souls return. Saturday's festival was a reminder of the lifelong gratitude people should have for those who've sacrificed so that our lives would be better, said the Rev. Naoki Kono, the temple's resident minister... Festivities began with the delicate Bon dancing by the Tachibana Dancers of New York, the Fumino Martin Dancers of Fort Dix and local dancers from the Seabrook temple. Dressed in colorful summer kimonos and jackets, they held fans and performed graceful movements to the beat of Taiko drums. Most dances were joyful, welcoming back the spirits of departed relatives and ancestors."