Since 2005, Odaiko Sonora has drummed the heartbeat of the Urn at the front of the All Souls Procession. Our group’s participation is based on obon, the Japanese Buddhist ancestor festival. The two rituals we hope to embody are bon odori (festival dance), and toronagashi (lantern ceremony). The Odaiko Sonora crew has grown over the years and now consists of drummers, dancers, cart pullers, guardians (who hold lighted bamboo poles to help hold space around us) and lantern lighters (who pass out the lanterns to the crowd).
Memorial Lantern Building Workshop
Nov. 2nd & 4th
1015 S Park Ave
Decorate a lantern cover in honor of your loved ones. Lanterns will be carried along the route of the All Souls Procession on November 7 and their covers burned in the Urn during the finale. Free, though donations to the All Souls Procession will be accepted.
Materials provided. However, you may wish to bring special paints, markers, papers, printed images, quotes, or other items to decorate your lantern. All items must be able to be safely placed in the Urn for burning, so no plastics, etc. We recommend images be printed or photocopied to a thin or translucent paper so the light can shine through.
Our use of memorial lanterns in the All Souls Procession has its roots in the Japanese ceremony called “toronagashi,” the meaning of which is a combination of “lantern” and “to flow/cruise.” The toronagashi is typically done by a river or body of water, where lanterns can be floated. Odaiko Sonora has created a “desert toronagashi” in which participants in the Procession carry the lanterns to the finale site. There, lantern covers are placed into the Urn to be burned during the finale.
Obon Dance & Chant Workshop
Although we are not offering dance and chant workshops this year, you are welcome to learn the dance and chant and walk with us during the All Souls Procession on November 7.