2015 Maui Obon Festival

Move beyond the beach this summer. Maui's Buddhist temples come alive during obon season, a favorite island tradition.

Lahaina Obon Festival 2015
A couple years ago, at the Lahaina Jodo Mission obon, I saw this woman walking by and she literally stopped me in my tracks—so elegant and gorgeous! So I stopped her in her tracks, and asked if I could snap a photo. I forgot to get her details, but was later told that her name is “Mrs. Yamamoto,” and that she’s a dance instructor.

It’s time once again to share the 2015 Maui obon festival schedule! Festivities kick off June 6 and last through August 29.

Put simply, obon is a centuries-old Buddhist tradition to honor the deceased. Every summer in Hawaiʻi, Buddhist temples come alive with colorful celebration: kimono-clad dancers, music, favorite local foods, and more. See my previous post to learn more about this tradition.

See you at the festival!


June 6, Lahaina Shingon Mission
(obon service at 6:30 p.m.; dancing at 7:30 p.m.)
682 Luakini Street, Lahaina

June 13, Puʻunene Nichiren Mission
(obon service at 7 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
9 Ani Street, Kahului

June 26, Wailuku Jodo Mission
(obon service at 7 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
67 Central Avenue, Wailuku

July 3, Lahaina Jodo Mission
(obon service at 6:30 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
12 Ala Moana Street, Lahaina
*This temple puts on a lovely lantern floating ceremony—the only one like it on Maui—characterized by illuminated lanterns inscribed with messages and prayers for deceased loved ones that are set out to sea. If you can make it to just one obon festival this season, this should be it!

obon dancing in Maui

July 10 and 11, Pāʻia Mantokuji Mission
(obon service at 6 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
23 Hāna Highway, Pāʻia

July 17 and 18, Kahului Hongwanji Mission
(obon service at 7 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
291 S. Puʻunene Avenue, Kahului

July 24 and 25, Makawao Hongwanji Mission
(obon service at 7 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
1074 Makawao Avenue

July 31 and August 1, Wailuku Hongwanji Mission
(obon service at 7 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
1828 Vineyard Street, Wailuku

August 7 and 8, Lahaina Hongwanji Mission
(obon service at 6:30 p.m.; dancing at 8 p.m.)
551 Waineʻe Street, Lahaina

August 15, Kahului Jodo Mission
(obon service at 6:30 p.m.; dancing at 7:30 p.m.)
325 Laʻau Street, Kahului

August 29, Kula Shofukuji Mission
(obon service at 6:30 p.m.; dancing at 7:30 p.m.)
113 Puanani Place, Kula
808.661.0466 (same number as Lahaina Shingon Mission)


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