Thursday, November 15, 2012

[NEWS] Bon Odori in December

Bon Odori festival is commonly celebrated in Japan in summer. According to Wikipedia, the festival of Obon lasts for three days; however its starting date varies within different regions of Japan. When the lunar calendar was changed to the Gregorian calendar at the beginning of the Meiji era, the localities in Japan reacted differently and this resulted in three different times of Obon. "Shichigatsu Bon" (Bon in July) is based on the solar calendar and is celebrated around 15 July in eastern Japan (Kantō region such as Tokyo, Yokohama and the Tohoku region), coinciding with Chūgen. "Hachigatsu Bon" (Bon in August) is based on the lunar calendar, is celebrated around the 15th of August and is the most commonly celebrated time. "Kyu Bon" (Old Bon) is celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, and so differs each year. "Kyu Bon" is celebrated in areas like the northern part of the Kantō region, Chūgoku region, Shikoku, and the Ryukyu Islands. These three days are not listed as public holidays but it is customary that people are given leave.

Several other countries than Japan have also adopted the spirit of Bon Odori in celebration to the unique Japanese culture and traditions. In Malaysia, annually the festivals are held in Shah Alam, Selangor and in Penang. This year, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Look East Policy in the country, University of Malaysia Sabah is proudly bringing the festival to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Perhaps the most interesting part of this event would be the date itself - 1 December 2012. Just as we start the countdown to mark the conclusion of 2012, the organizer aims bring the public closer to the Japanese cultural attributions.

Further details to the event, you may visit the organizer's facebook event page here. Tickets are sold at RM10 and believe me, this is cheap considering the activities and items prepared for everyone to have fun with. So, anyone who happened to be in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on the said date why not add this to your travel calendar? One thing that I know, I am a big fan of Japan and since I am in town...most definitely I will make my way to the venue.


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