Obon Dance Festival at Bryant Park – Sunday, July 5th

On Sunday, July 5th, at Bryant Park (41st Street & 6th Avenue near the fountain) The New York Buddhist Church will hold its Annual Obon Dance Festival from 12:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., rain or shine. The festival will follow a combined service at 10:30am at the NYBC located at 331-332 Riverside Drive.

Observed within the Buddhist faith, Obon is a time when one honors their ancestors. It is believed that during the time of Obon, the spirits of the deceased visit the world of the living to be with their families once more. Traditionally, special Obon lanterns are hung in front of homes and traditional dances are performed. Entire families, young and old, come together during this time to pay their respects and it is also time of great bonding between them.

The Obon Dance Festival will include traditional Obon dances, taiko drumming by Soh Daiko, performances by Tachibana (Japanese folk dance) dance group and more!


Image by Susan McCormac Hamaker from 2013 Obon Festival in Bryant Park

See below for full event schedule provided by Soh Daiko’s event page:

12:30pm Opening
12:45pm Hoh Daiko drummers (15 min), from Seabrook Buddhist Temple
1:20pm Obon Dance Part I
2:10pm Messages
2:30pm Tachibana Dance Group, from New York Buddhist Church
2:45pm Obon Dance Part II
3:30pm Soh Daiko (15 min)
4:15pm Obon Dance Part III
4:50pm Closing messages

Although, us at JapanCulture-NYC sadly cannot attend this year – we encourage you all to stop by and join in on the fun! Everyone is encouraged to join in the dancing and create a communal bond in honor of Obon. Be sure not to miss it!

Click here to see The New York Buddhist Church Special Events calendar.