The Philadelphia Obon Festival continues a new Shofuso tradition, to light lanterns and float them on Shofuso’s pond. This night of remembrance and commemoration is dedicated to those no longer with us. Each registered participant will be able to choose if they would like to launch floating lanterns on Shofuso’s pond or simply observe the serenity of the experience.
Obon is a series of Summer events in Japan based on Buddhist and ancestral worship that enshrine and celebrate the spirits of ancestors. Typically, people return to their hometowns to celebrate Obon each year. Families gather, clean their graveyard and the shrine in their house, and light lanterns to welcome the spirits home. After the spirits spend a few days with family, the Bon-Odori dancers form a circle under the lanterns to guide the spirits back to the otherworld.
Beginning at 7:00 PM, registered participants can launch floating lanterns on Shofuso’s pond to honor loved ones. Doors open at 6:45 PM. The cost of $30 includes a floating lantern. Observer (without lantern) is $20. Members must sign in to get $10 off at checkout.