This past weekend I got the chance to attend my first Obon festival! Obon is a Buddhist festival for honoring your ancestors and it usually involves lots of dancing. This was my first experience, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be an awesome experience.
The Dance Floor
The setup was pretty simple- there were a bunch of chairs set up in a large circle. In the middle, there was a white line that you could follow for the dances. In the center of the dance floor were the teachers for the Bon Odori. All of us who weren’t very certain about our dancing skills were along the outside- and you could follow along. What was even better about this particular odori is that they had fans, kachi-kachi, and all of that for us. So if you didn’t have all of the supplies, you weren’t left out.
I decided to wear my Ro kimono, which I bought from a member off of IG. I went with ro because it was supposed to be incredibly hot that night- around 105. I went with a basic hanhaba, tied in a way that is easy to drive in.
My friend wore their yukata with a kaku obi that I made. It has a western paisley pattern on it. And there is a mini Iron Man used as a netsuke.
We got to see a couple of our friends at this event. It’s been quite a while since we could all do something together. It was nice to be able see them again 🙂
There was a small rummage sale in the Hondo. I managed to find an obi, komon kimono, and an obijime. There were some zori and tabi, but they were too small for my big feet!
I decided to quickly try on the kimono to see how it fits. It’s actually quite large for me. The wingspan is almost long enough for me. However, the lining seems to large for the kimono… so I might have to pick it apart and adjust it a bit. Otherwise, it’s nice! And the obi is nice and stiff. It ties really easily.
All in all, I’m super glad that I went- even though it was warm. It was such a great feeling to be a part of the community and to watch everyone join together for this event. I can’t wait for next year!
Here is a blog post from one of my friends who was with me.
There was another friend of ours taking photos while there. So there might be another post in the future, showing some of the pictures he took 🙂