The Celebration You May Not Know About: Japanese Obon Festival

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This is America, land of the free and home of the borrowed traditions.

In Boise alone, we have the Greek Food Festival, the Basque Festival, Deli Days and the Soul Food Extravaganza. But you may be surprised to learn that Ontario, Ore., has been the site of a Japanese Obon Festival for the past 64 years.

Traditionally, Obon is a joyful celebration of the spirits of ancestors. The festival incorporates both Buddhism and Japanese culture through food, music and dancing. Attendees can enjoy traditional Japanese taiko drumming, performances by dance students of Madame Kanriye Fujima and a judo exhibition while indulging in bento boxes, shrimp-on-a-stick, shish kabobs, udon noodles, cake and ice cream.

The Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple will host its 65th Annual Japan Nite Obon Festival on Saturday, June 25 from 4-9:30 p.m. Admission is FREE and open to all. For more information, visit iobt.org.

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