Saturday, 3 July 2010

Festivals Around The Corner

Summer months always garner various celebrations in Japan; with parades, fireworks and crowds taking over the streets throughout the country. It became popular in the Edo period (1603-1868) as events to relieve summer fatigue. Another way to relieve summer fatigue is by eating unagi (eel), I was told.

One more widely known and celebrated even in Malaysia during the summer months is the Bon Odori festival. Essential elements of festivals today are Bon dancing, food stalls, and fireworks. People gather in their local communities and enjoy Bon dancing to rhythmic music.

Bon Odori is a Japanese Buddhist custom which is held annually to honour the deceased spirits of one's ancestors. It is meant to be a joyful celebration, bringing families together and celebrating rather than mourning the lives of the dearly departed. Though in Malaysia, the celebration is more geared toward celebrating the Japanese culture rather than Buddhism.

There is a Bon Odori festival around the corner and anyone who is interested can check the festival which will be held on July 17, 2010 at Panasonic Sports Complex, Persiaran Perkilangan Seksyen 21, 40300 Shah Alam, Selangor. Admisssion is free. No cosplaying at the festival, please!

There is a yukata fair in Mid Valley's Jusco until July 4th. It's been ongoing since June 22nd but I only went to check it out on Friday. Nothing that catch my fancy although the yukata prices were affordable because I didn't like the material much.

I think it would be fun wearing a yukata while joining the local crowd at the festival.

Talking about festivals, planning our September itinerary, we had initially wanted to visit Kakunodate's festival which will be held from September 7 - 9th, after spending a night at Tsurunoyu Onsen. I got really intrigued by the festival and really look forward to watch the the 'Yama Buttuke'. Floats violently collide with each other in a kind of competition. Not too sure whether it'll be safe or not to be near those float but I sure want to be there!

Alas, we had to postpone our trip by a week so we'll have to miss the festival! Pity, eh?


There is also one festival Raimie would love to attend but has to miss out (yet again)... and that's the Ultraman Festival (Ulfes).  Ulfes 2010 will be held from July 23rd to August 29th this year and is returning back to Ikebukuro.


17 comments:

  1. the BO festival is also celebrated in Penang but on a much smaller scale here in comparison to the celebrations in Japan.

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  2. @LR,
    Have you been to the festival in Penang? I think it is bigger than the one in KL. :)

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  3. Hi Lina! I'm finally here again! Baby's been keeping mommy's hands tied!

    I'm so envious with this festivity. owe I wish I can join wearing my black yukata!

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  4. I remembered there was a Bon Odori celebration last year. But didn't attend.

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  5. @Ayie,
    Baby Jariel loves Mommy's attention. :)

    I wanna have my own yukata although I don't think I'll be wearing them here. ^_^

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  6. @Mei Teng,
    How about this year? Planning to go? I think it's great to attend but then, I can't stand the heat. Too used to being in an a/c environment! LOL

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  7. Yeah, the temperature is hovering around 30 getting hot so it's matsuri time again.

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  8. @sixmats,
    the thought of getting all sticky and sweaty amidst all those in the crowd is really appealing.
    At 30 degrees, I might just as well be here in Malaysia! :D

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  9. i haven't been to such events due to the traffic congestions and crowds.

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  10. They sound like such festive events and wonderful celebrations.

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  11. @Life Ramblings,
    Yeah, I hate that too.

    Used to be tolerate crowds when I was younger. Now, not so much! :D

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  12. @Poectic Shutterbug,
    Yes, they sure do. There is one celebration I wish I can attend in Tazawako.

    Check about it here. All those dragons sure look awesome, don't you think?

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  13. Never been to any Bon Odori festival! Why can't you cosplay there? haha!

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  14. Wow! There's such thing as Ultraman Fest? So is there Doraemon Fest as well? : )

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  15. @Foong,
    Cannot cosplay as to respect the cultural activities. Wear traditional clothing not something outlandish based on animes. :D

    Yes, Ulfes is held every year. Dunno about Doraemon. But Doraemon park is in Taiwan not Japan... Why ah? XD

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  16. I'll be moving to Japan (Niigata prefecture to be exact) in about 2 weeks time, so it's great to read stuff like this. It just get's me more and more psyched up. Thanks!

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  17. @Luke,
    How great! Lucky you! :)

    Will we be reading about life in Niigata from you?

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