A summer without bon dance: Kauai Buddhist Council cancels 2020 obon season

A summer without bon dance: Kauai Buddhist Council cancels 2020 obon season
Bon dances are a staple to island life during the summer months. (Source: Dillon Ancheta)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In another sign of the lasting impacts coronavirus will have on the community, events planned as far away as August have already been canceled.

On the Garden Isle of Kauai, this includes the cancellation of the entire 2020 Bon Dance season, a beloved community tradition with cultural ties to Japan.

(Source: Dillon Ancheta)

Every summer, bon dances are a staple to island happenings.

The Kauai Buddhist Council made the unanimous decision Tuesday night to cancel the entire season.

The first bon dance of the summer was set for June 12 and 13 at the Kapaa Hongwanji Mission. Festivities would have been held every Friday and Saturday night at temples around the island until Aug. 7 and 8, with the exception of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Buddhist council members say it was not an easy decision to make. Each year, obon festivities attract hundreds weekly who come together for traditional Japanese dancing, food and more.

Other islands could soon follow suit, but no official announcements have been made.

On Oahu, the decision to cancel will be up to each temple. No word on festivities for Hawaii Island or Maui.

This story will be updated.

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