Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Obon This Weekend

This weekend, I'll be at the Gardena Obon, which is basically a traditional Japanese festival to honor the deceased spirits of one's ancestors. Mostly I just go for the food though. There have Okinawa dangos (fried donuts), spam musubi, bbq chicken and beef teriyaki, snow cones, and tamales.. Wait, what? Actually, those tamales are pretty good, especially with chili and onions.. If you've ever been to an Obon, it's pretty much the usual fare as most other ones in Southern California. There's food, bingo, carnival games, dancing, and did I mention food?

I'll probably be there Saturday night with the family. The traditional dancing is sort of the main attraction, and that starts at around 6pm, i think. The live taiko drum performances begin a bit earlier than that. What's cool about the dancing is that the crowd is usually very diverse and everyone is encouraged to join in. Kimonos and hapi coats are welcome, but most people just wear whatever they want. And since the Gardena Obon is one of the bigger ones, it's easy to blend into the large crowd.

So I'll be there, but we'll see if I can avoid being dragged into participating in that dancing stuff. It's funny, my family mentioned that they were planning on placing their chairs on the street outside the Gardena Buddhist temple at 9am to secure a good seating area. I told them if it gets any crazier, they may as well camp out over night.

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