The White River Buddhist Temple issued the following statement announcing the cancellation of its annual Bon Odori in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
For the first time in fifty years, the White River Buddhist Temple will not be hosting its annual Bon Odori festival in person this year. While the temple traditionally holds its annual Bon Odori festival on the third weekend of July, this year the temple will virtually broadcast its Bon Odori with a traditional Buddhist service followed by a short, socially distanced performance by temple dance teachers on August evening. 9th. The event will be broadcast on the Temple’s Youtube page.
“For the first time in over fifty years, White River has canceled its Bon Odori festival in person. This decision is not taken lightly, but the safety of our temple members and our community is of the utmost importance, ”said Kendall Kosai, Co-Chair of Bon Odori. “We hope the community will continue to support our Temple through the alternative methods we have provided this year.”
Additionally, the Temple is also working to reduce the financial impact of canceling its in-person festival by
offering new options for participants to support the Temple. Members and the public are encouraged to dedicate a lantern in memory of a loved one (free but donations are welcome) or purchase a bouquet of flowers which can be picked up on the morning of August 8. Orders are only pre-ordered.
All information on this year’s Bon Odori is available on our website at: www.wrbt.org/bonodori2020.
Founded in 1912, White River Buddhist Temple is a diverse community of people who practice the Buddha’s teachings daily. The temple was founded by Japanese immigrants who followed the Jodo Shinshu faith founded by Shinran Shonin. Over the years, our temple has evolved to include people of diverse ethnicities and cultures. We strive to be a diverse and inclusive Sangha, and most of all, we love to share and enjoy the harmonious life with everyone.
In other news, 2020 is officially the reason we can’t have nice things.
The above is a press release from the White River Buddhist Temple. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content and encourages our readers to personally verify any information they find that may be excessively biased or questionable. Publication of this press release does not indicate endorsement of its contents.