West Covina Buddhist Temple's 2016 Obon Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 25, 2016. The festival lasts all day, starting from 1 pm and lasting until 9:00 pm. Please join us for a day full of Japanese culture, cuisine and of course, the exciting and spiritually meaningful Obon Odori Dancing. Below are some highlights from previous Festivals. See our Map Page for directions. E-mail us or call (626) 689-1040 if you have any questions.
Download the 2016 Obon Flyer
WCBT also offers free Bon Odori dance instruction to the public. As shown in the pics at the bottom of the page, if the Bon Odori dancing is the highlight of the Obon, it is because, as a kind of celebratory "group dance," it symbolizes the world of oneness that is the goal of the Buddhist teaching. And, though it is certainly not mandatory, the public is invited to learn the specific moves of each dance at one of the free and very popular public dance instruction practices. This year, they are offered from 7 pm to 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays leading up to the Obon (except for the Friday right before Obon): June 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, and 21.
Download the Obon 2015 Dance Practice Flyer

Obon Performance Schedule (tentative):
3:00 pm: Shinkendo
3:30 pm: Eibukan Karate
4:00 pm: Hoshun Kai
4:30 pm: West Covina Kendo
5:00 pm: West Covina Judo
5:30 pm: Martial Art Innovations
6:00 pm: Kishin Daiko
6:30 pm: Manto-e Service (those who have lost loved ones in the previous year offer incense)
7:00 pm: Bon Odori Dancing

Always riveting is the Naginata demo. This is very exciting to watch, and somewhat similar to Kendo (and to fencing—if you saw any of the Star Wars movies, you know what Kendo is like)

Many people enjoy the Karate demonstration, which is an impressive display of discipline and skill

Fujima Kansei Odori-kai presents traditional Japanese classic dancing

The Bodhi Tree Band is a group of West Covina Buddhist Temple teens that perform popular songs, many with universal Buddhistic themes

The climax of the demos features the popular Kishin Daiko group...

Of course, instead of eating the delicious food available, there were some, like our Joanie Martinez, that chose to WEAR the food! (just kidding...Joanie was our "walking sushi advertisement")

Top: the famous WCBT Chicken Teriyaki Crew barbeques deservedly famous chicken dinners.
Bottom: this is the line for the Teriyaki dinner plate...Come early, as it's not uncommon for the chicken to sell out!

The highlight of the evening is the Bon Odori Dancing, kicked off by the irresistible beat of the taiko drum. For many, besides being a lot of fun, the dancing also has a deep Buddhist meaning, which is that we wouldn't be here enjoying this day together if it weren't for our ancestors. Our dancing celebrates their memory.

You don't have to be an expert to participate, because you can just pick it up by watching expert teachers like Jennifer...

The "big picture" is that the Bon Odori dancing brings people together--young, old, temple members and members of the community--and everyone has a great time!