Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bon Odori Festival 2010 : 17th July 2010

Penang Bon Odori Festival 2010
Date: 17th July 2010
Organizer: The Consulate of Japan, Penang State Tourism Development & Culture and Bon Odori Committee
Location: Esplanade, Penang

Bon Odori Festival in Penang, like in other parts of the world, is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is held in the Esplanade of Penang in Malaysia. Bon Odori is observed during Obon, which in turn is Buddhist holiday that originated in Japan to pay tribute to the ancestral spirits. The customs of this festival varies from one region to another but the traditional celebration includes a Bon dance with people dancing to the tune of musicians and singers of the Obon music around a wooden building.

History says that Mokuren, a disciple of Shakyamuni, approached Buddha when he saw his dead mother indulging in low activities in a vision. According to Buddha’s advice, he organized a feast for the dead ancestors and attained happiness after realizing his mother’s acts of kindness in the past. From his dance of joy, Bon Odori or "Bon Dance” evolved. The religious custom soon became popular among all the communities in Japan and became the avenue of celebration in summer.

Features of Bon Odori Festival in Penang:-

- Organized by the Japanese Expatriate & Immigrant's Society in Malaysia, Bon Odori Festival in Penang, however is observed in a smaller dimension as compared to that in Japan.
- Interestingly enough, this festival today reflects more Japanese culture than the inherent principles of Buddhism.
- You will be able to enjoy hordes of Japanese food, drinks, art and dance in this festival.
- This festival is the Japanese counterpart of the Chinese’s Hungry Ghost Festival.
Head on there if you are free this Saturday...a place to be for youngsters and folks of all walk :)

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