The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach celebrated Obon, or the Bon Festival this past Saturday, August 14. A traditional Japanese observance when the spirits of deceased family members are thought to return to the world of the living, the Bon Festival at the Morikami is always a much anticipated event.
Those of us who live in Palm Beach County, and Delray Beach, in particular are so lucky to have the Morikami Museum and their beautiful take-your-breath away gardens right in our back door. Since 1977, the Museum has given us a peek of what a Japanese villa might look like; let us see the "steeped" in tradition tea ceremony and walk through over 200 acres of Japanese gardens, winding paths, and cross bridges over lakes filled with koi.
The Bon Festival featured performances of the Bon odori, a folk dance that is supposed to entertain the many spirits. The platform you see below is the Yagura, where drummers and flutists perform.
Outside the tent are activities for children, food booths, and many other exhibits. You can also tour the gardens or explore its latest exhibit, the Kaiju! Monstor Invasion ! located inside the museum. Visitors wanting to honor their deceased ancestors could purchase lantern sleeves that were lighted and set afloat on the Morikami Pond. The festivities were topped off by a fireworks display at 9pm.
Drummers Floating Lanterns to honor Ancestors
If you come down to South Florida and want to spend a day surrounded by peaceful beauty; learn more about the Japanese culture, and relax over lunch as you overlook one of the lakes don't miss the Morikami Museum. And as a bonus, located just across the way from the museum is another of Delray Beach's visitor and resident favorites, the national headquarters of the American Orchid Society.