OBON: Honokaa Hongwanji

“A Weekend to Remember”
Community memorial gatherings August 24-25


In Hawai‘i, our fusion of cultures allows us to remember loved ones in many ways, bringing together traditions from around the world. In August, the public is invited to celebrate the lives of the departed in two uniquely meaningful ceremonies.


Community Memorial Service and Bon Dance
On Saturday, August 24, Honokaʻa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will present its 116th annual Memorial
Service in the Social Hall at 5:30 p.m., followed by Bon Dance at 7 p.m. A simple and healing ceremony,
open to all, the Community Memorial Service honors those who have passed recently (in the last year or
so), as their names are read aloud, and families and friends step forward to place incense in a symbolic
gesture of appreciation for their life.
When the service concludes, everyone is welcome to stay, enjoy, and join in the dancing, music, food
and celebration. A traditional Buddhist style of folk dancing, Bon Odori (Bon Dance) is accompanied by
lively Taiko drums and music, led by dance groups in colorful hapi coats to represent different temples.
Young and old participate, whether they are beginners or lifelong dancers.
For the Community Memorial Service on August 24, names may be submitted in advance by
email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or text 808-640-4602. During the memorial service,
when the person’s name is called, anyone may step forward with friends and family to offer a
small amount of incense (provided), with aloha.
Participants do not have to be a temple member or a Buddhist to participate, and even without
advance arrangements, anyone can honor loved ones by submitting a name just prior to the
beginning of the ceremony. Admission is free, and all are welcome. For more information, visit
www.honokaahongwanjibuddhisttemple.org , Honokaa Hongwanji Mission on Facebook.

Floating Lantern Ceremony
On Sunday, August 25, 5-7:30 p.m. North Hawai‘i Hospice invites the community to join in the 9th
annual Floating Lantern Ceremony at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i. Held at near the ocean at Coconut
Grove, the event includes live music, hula, Taiko drummers and Hawaiian chanting, and will be followed
by a sunset lantern release into Pauoa Bay.
The Floating Lantern Ceremony has roots in “Toro Nagashi” (lantern flow), a Japanese
ceremony in which participants float paper lanterns down a river. Traditionally performed
during Obon season, it is believed that the lights will help to guide souls to the spirit world.
Participants may purchase lanterns for $10, which includes materials to decorate them, inscribe with
their loved ones’ names, or write a personal message. There is no charge for admission, and free self-
parking for the event is provided by the Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i. Food and beverages will be available
for purchase.
Proceeds from the event support the valuable work of North Hawai‘i Hospice, providers of quality, in-
home, compassionate services for patients and their families needing care and support during the final
stages of life. They also offer emotional and spiritual support for the patient and loved ones, as well as
bereavement support for an entire year after the death. For more information, or to purchase lanterns
in advance, contact North Hawai‘i Hospice, 885-7547, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
“We are honored to partner with North Hawai‘i Hospice in creating ‘A Weekend to
Remember,’” said Miles Okumura of Honoka‘a Hongwanji, who has assisted with the Floating
Lantern event for the last several years. “Working together, we can help reach out to those who
are grieving, and offer meaningful ways, not only to mourn those losses, but celebrate their
lives with music, poetry, dance and traditional ritual, surrounded by community.”

Event Properties

Event Date 08-24-2019 7:00 pm
Event End Date 08-24-2019 9:00 pm
Location Honokaa Hongwanji

Location Map