Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Obon Festival in Gardena

On Sunday (8.5.12), my friend Jana was going to meet up with some of her friends from this Japanese-American club that she is part of at UC Berkley and invited me to come along. It just so happened that they were going to an Obon festival (also known as Bon festival) I was happy that she thought of me and invited me for this occasion.

I didn't even know Japanese festivals like this went on in So-Cal (Southern CA) and apparently neither did she lol. We discovered that there is a big Japanese community in Gardena (which is still considered LA area) and that they are actually really close. Different Japanese buddhist churches from So-Cal and Nor-Cal (Northern CA) came to this event and go to other Obon festivals.

The Obon actually kinda reminded me of Mexico's Day of the Dead.

Nana, Jana, and Aimee
I loved the way the back looked<3
Nana gave Jana one of her obi's since she didn't have one

So I met, Jana's friends which they were really nice and they wore gorgeous yukatas! I especially loved Nana's (*__*) She was so cute an energetic and would randomly switch in and out on English and Japanese. I also found out her sister is going to UCI as well :]

Anyways, so after we had the introductions we looked around the festival. To be honest, it was quite small but it was very cute.

It had some games, music, entertainment, and lots of cheap food which one of the best parts :D I even tried dango (Okinawa Dango aka sata andagi).

The traditional dance
Many non-Japanese people also joined in &were good at it
Nana and Aimee got a free-meal ticket for dancing

I was quite surprised by the amount of people that dressed up and wore yukatas. It was a pleasant surprise though, so I snapped some pictures of little girls in their yukatas since they looked so cute >//<

There was dancing (obon-odori) going on as well. Nana wanted us to try the dance which I was extremely against because I didn't know any of the dances and I am not very coordinated coordinated at all lol. 

They ended up convincing me though, and after two songs and much embarrassment Jana and I left Nana and Aimee to the dancing since they actually are part of a club at Berkley where they do these dances.

After the dance, we ended up taking some more pictures to conclude the day. 

For more info about the Obon check out this post of a blog I came across where a Japanese-American blogger writes about her experiences at the ones she went to.

The last picture of the day.
Nana & Aimee realized me & Jana were childhood friends
so they decided we needed a picture together lol

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