Activity Finds: Honolulu

Bon Dance Festival

There's no better way to dance into summer than with a bon dance (or two). Each year, Hawai‘i's summer nights come alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of taiko drums, Japanese song and the faint-yet-mouth-watering scent of andagi, saimin and flying saucers (a Kauai bon dance favorite which consists of a grilled Sloppy Joe cut into the circular shape of - you guessed it! - a flying saucer). Part of the local Buddhist culture, bon dances are a way to honor and remember deceased ancestors and celebrate their memory.

While there are many Buddhist temples across Hawai‘i that host a bon dance each year, one of the more popular take place at the Honpa Hongwanji located on the Pali Highway on the outskirts of Honolulu. If you're driving, park across the highway behind Honpa Hongwanji School and take the short walk through an underground tunnel that passes below the Pali.

Perfect for families, bon dances attract residents from across the island who don the traditional garb (a hopi coat and head band) to partake in the weekend's merriment. And if you'd prefer to simply relax and take in the swinging scene, remember to BYOBC (bring your own beach chair). That way you'll have a place to rest in between rounds of dancing and orders of teri beef sticks.

 

Know Before You Go

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Perfect for families, it's a great way to spend a summer evening soaking in the sights, sounds and saimin.

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Remember to BYOBC (bring your own beach chair). That way you'll have a place to rest in between rounds of dancing and orders of teri beef sticks.

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Hit up an ATM before dancing over. Most vendors only accept cash.

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