The Lantern Lighting Festival, the largest Japan-related festival in Minnesota, takes place in Como Park every August. It is wonderful! Modeled after summer festivals held across Japan, it features stage performances, cultural demonstrations, activities, and, of course, Japanese food. The event is reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, an important cultural and family event. During this holiday it is said that ancestral spirits revisit their families for three days. Many people will return home to pay their respects at grave-sites, and often small paper lanterns are lit and floated down the river to guide ancestor’s spirits. The Obon Festival also features the Bon Odori, or folk dance, in which all are invited to join in the circle and dance.
A collaborative effort between JASM, Como Park, and the St. Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee (SPNSCC), JETAAMN joins the event by hosting a booth at the festival. So come on!! Come share the experience with people who fondly remember festivals in Japan, and those who wish to experience one for the first time.