Bon Odori actually means Bon Dance, and the festival is a Japanese custom to honour the 'departed' ancestors..
In Malaysia, it is celebrated annually in Shah Alam and Penang. Penang's festival is held in the Esplanade. Like I said, I've never been to Shah Alam's festivities before, so this is my 1st time to a Bon Odori festival..
I went with Peggy and How Chen. Before going to the Esplanade, we went for some food 1st, because we were getting hungry..
I didn't take note of the food court's name, but it's located near the jetties, directly opposite Teong car repair shop..
I'm not a fan of oysters, but the oysters here, instantly melt upon contact with the mouth, not bad not bad..
This fruit is called ambula/amboolah/umboola/whichever way u wanna spell it.. I can't find this fruit in wiki, and not sure why it's called this name, but quite a refreshing drink, don't think can be found in KL..
Okok, let's just get to Bon Odori..
If u wanna buy souvenirs or food, u need this,
Each booklet was RM20, there's 2 pieces of coupons..
There's games stalls, souvenirs stalls and food stalls. Although it's Bon Odori, what I saw was like 35% Japanese & 65% local stuff.. and.. and.. I can't believe it when I heard them playing Rasa Sayang throughout the festival! Is this Bon Odori or Bon Melayu??
Anyway, here's some Japanese stuff..
If u watched Slam Dunk, u would know.. u basically use a thin paper racket to scoop the fish into the containers..
They even set up the conveyor belt there! Cool!
Bon Odori is always about pretty Japanese chicks..
Actually they were taking a group photo, but Peggy, with her DSLR, zoomed in to just take the photo of the 2 girls XD
But.. it was Peggy's camera, and she have the rights to choose what photos to take.. she wasn't so interested with hot chicks *sobs*, and more interested with kids, so I shall show u pictures of kids in the festival..
There's this one small girl that's absolutely very very cute, and Peggy basically stalked her and followed her wherever she go..
We were at the Esplanade at about 4.30pm onwards, but officially, the festival only starts at 6pm..
The festival begins with the arrival of VIPs.. we all know what happened during the March 8th political tsunami, so, VIP for a big festival in Penang would naturally include this man..
After the VIPs made their
Some scenes from the drum dance..
There's 5 of them performing the ritual, only 1 of them is young..
The main drummer got kinda excited,
Reminds me of MakDau @ 麦兜.. zhong yao zui leng ge zhu lam yoke~ 仲有最靓嘠猪腩肉~ XD
After the drum dance ritual, it's time to perform the Bon Dance!
First up is the VIPs from Malaysia and Japan. To be honest, I don't know any of the Japanese and Malaysian VIPs besides Lim GE.. so I'll just feature this Chief Minister of Penang..
Somemore people in the dance..
The dance not only occurs on stage, actually everyone who came is expected to dance together..
There's also a group who came from Okinawa with their own dance..
Basically, the festival activities are Bon Dance, then Bon Dance again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again.... until the end..
First, the VIP performs the dance for a few songs, then some XXX group takes to the stage and do the same dances, then some YYY association came and do the same dance, and so on, from 6pm all the way until 10.30pm..
We got kinda bored and tired actually after the VIP dance session, because we have been here since 4.30pm.. so the photos stopped, and we went buying food, and sit around waiting for the fireworks...
Peggy has been taking alot of photos with her DSLR, nice work, so I'll just feature her here..
At 1st, the emcee said: Fireworks at 9pm.. then, 10pm..
When the clock strikes 10, the emcee said: 15 more minutes!
And when it was 10.15, the emcee said: 2 more songs!
We got tired and went back to our car to wait for the fireworks. Our car was parked by the seaside, thinking that we can get a nice view out of the crowds, and to be able to leave immediately after the fireworks ended..
Ok.. it's not the most spectacular photos of fireworks. Peggy even kept saying that her shoots on the fireworks are 'sai jit teh' after comparing it to those photos taken in the field near the stage..
In Hokkien, sai = shit, jit = one, teh = pile.. make out the meaning yourself..
But.. ok lah.. nice also ma.. just that there's no buildings or stage or people in the photos to come with the fireworks.. not nice meh??
That's all for my 1st Bon Odori experience...