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Drummer at the 2013 Obon Festival/Tracy Simmons - SpokaneFAVS

Weekend events celebrate Japanese Culture

The Spokane Buddhist Temple, 927 S Perry St., will host its annual Obon Festival this weekend with Japanese and Hawaiian food, cultural music and dancing and other activities for the Spokane community.

The festival will be Saturday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from 3-7 p.m.

Both days at 6 p.m. there will be Bon Odori dancing, an audience participation dance, and on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. there will be Taiko Drumming.  Also on Saturday will be a Temple Open House from 11 a.m. – 3p.m. and an introductory Buddhist service will be held Sunday at 3 p.m.

Obon is an annual Japanese Buddhist festival that commemorates the dead.

According to a press release, “It is based on a Buddhist tale which describes how a devout monk dances with joy upon successfully releasing his deceased mother’s spirit from the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. Today, participants dance to express their joy to be living happily and to honor loved ones who have passed away.”

More information on the festival can be found on the Temple’s website.

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About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

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