Shofuso Obon Lantern Floating Ceremony

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Saturday August 28

7:00 PM  –  9:00 PM



The Philadelphia Obon Festival continues a new Shofuso tradition, to light lanterns and float them on Shofuso’s pond. This night of remembrance and commemoration is dedicated to those no longer with us. Each registered participant will be able to choose if they would like to launch floating lanterns on Shofuso’s pond or simply observe the serenity of the experience. The ceremony will take place from 7pm-9pm, but guests are not required to arrive right at the start of the program.


Obon is a series of Summer events in Japan based on Buddhist and ancestral worship that enshrine and celebrate the spirits of ancestors. Typically, people return to their hometowns to celebrate Obon each year. Families gather, clean their graveyard and the shrine in their house, and light lanterns to welcome the spirits home. After the spirits spend a few days with family, the Bon-Odori dancers form a circle under the lanterns to guide the spirits back to the otherworld.



Please Note: In the case of rain or other inclement weather, a rain date has been chosen for each lantern floating ceremony. August 12th will be pushed back to August 13th and August 19th will be pushed back to August 20th (Still from 7pm-9pm). This will be decided at least 12 hours in advance.