San Francisco’s Obon Festival is a Foodie’s Dream Come True

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Tighten your Obi around your Kimono because these Buddhists are about to get down. Foodie’s beware.

The Buddhist Church of San Francisco held its 85th annual Obon and Ginza Bazaar on July 23rd and 24th. The BCSF had its amazing food as usual, including shave ice, daruma dogs, and their famous Aloha Chicken.

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But food wasn’t the only thing on the agenda. There was Ikebana classes (traditional Japanese flower arrangement), children’s games, bingo, a silent auction, taiko drum performances, and group dancing!

But what the heck is Obon?

It’s a Buddhist tradition where they believe that during the summer, their ancestors’ spirits can return to this world and visit their families.

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The Chochin, or lanterns, help guide the spirits back to their loved ones. Think one big spiritual reunion. Paired with great food, dancing, chanting, and prayer, this festival connects generations together and reminds them of their family heritage.


Written and photographed by Dustin Soriano — Never miss another event and get eating before the dishes get cold.

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