Visiting Maui this summer and looking to try something new? Below you’ll find a schedule of this year’s Obon dance festivals.

Similar to Mexico’s Day of the Dead, Obon is an annual Buddhist festival for celebrating one’s ancestors. It is believed that each year during Obon, the ancestors’ spirits return to earth in order to visit their relatives. The tradition started in Japan over 500 years ago.

Dolphin Snorkel Adventure

Here on Maui, though Obon season is a Buddhist tradition, it’s celebrated by people of all faiths. While each location has its own celebrations, you can count on traditional dance in full kimono, drums and great food. At each location, the dance is always the main event. The dances have precise movements, but even if you’re not familiar with the dances, you’re still very welcome to join in. No one will judge you!

Here is the schedule of Maui obon dances:

Romantic Sunset Adventure

Wailuku Jodo Mission
Friday, June 14
Service 6:30 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
67 Central Avenue, Wailuku

Wailuku Shingon Mission
Saturday, June 15
Service 6:30 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
1939 North Street, Wailuku

Whale Watch Adventure

Kahului Jodo Mission
Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29
Service 6:30 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
325 Lāʻau Street, Kahului

Lahaina Jodo Mission
Saturday, July 6
Service 6:30 p.m., Dance 8 p.m.
12 Ala Moana Street, Lahaina

Pāiʻa Mantokuji Soto Zen Mission
Friday and Saturday, July 12 and 13
Service 6 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
253 Hāna Hwy, Pāiʻa

Lānaʻi Hongwanji Mission
Friday and Saturday July 12 and 13
Service July 12, 2019 7 p.m.; dance July 13, 2019 6:30 p.m.
1364 Fraser Ave., Lānaʻi

Kahului Hongwanji Mission
Friday and Saturday, July 19 and 20
Service 6 p.m.; Dance 8 p.m.
291 S. Puʻunēnē Ave., Kahului

Makawao Hongwanji Mission
Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27
Service 6 p.m., Dance 7 p.m.
1074 Makawao Ave., Makawao

Wailuku Hongwanji Mission
Friday and Saturday, August 2 and 3
Service 6:45 p.m., Dance 8 p.m.
1828 Vineyard St., Wailuku

Lahaina Hongwanji Mission
Friday and Saturday, August 9 and 10
Service 6 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
551 Waineʻe St., Lahaina

Rinzai Zen Mission, Pāʻia
Saturday, August 17
Service 6 p.m., Dance 7 p.m.
120 Alawai Road, Pāʻia

Kula Shofukuji Mission
Saturday, August 24
Service 6:30 p.m., Dance 7:30 p.m.
113 Puanani Place, Kula

By the way, did you know that you can now save $10/person on our Maui Princess Dinner Cruise or a Snorkel Adventure to the island of Lanai? Well you can! Just use the promo code VIP20 after clicking on this link: Hawaii Ocean Project Adventures.

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