Hye there! I hope you have enjoyed your weekend with the Japanese Festival - Bon Odori! You didn't go?! Why not? After many years, I had finally made my way to the Panasonic Shah Alam Stadium to attend this festival. The only thing that I can remember for that one time visit when I was about 6 or 7 years old was the yukatas and water balloons (aka boink boink).
You should really go for it, at least once, now that you are older to remember the experience and to enjoy it!
Welcome to My Bon Odori Experience!
Since the beginning of this year, I made sure that all my other plans were stirred out of the way for this event. Lucky me, as I managed to find a yukata, a month before the Bon Odori. I would sincerely love to thank Angel HalloQween Chooi to sell this beautiful piece off! And thank you Mami for helping me to wear this.
Please do remember to watch the tutorial, on how to properly wear a yukata, before stepping out of the house, the last two things you need are wearing the yukata in the way that represents the dead or not wrapping the yukata securely.
Mami and I spent almost an hour to get it right, since we both didn't have any experience in properly putting on one, we had to try it in a few different ways. I sincerely take my hats off to the ladies that constantly wear this traditional outfit! The amount of layers that you have in there and the tight fitting obi that basically sucks you dry, you are just amazing!
The trio of the evening, Edmund Lee, Misako and me! Thank you Edmund for making this experience possible! Frankly, if I didn't follow you, I would've probably made this a one time experience, and not ever return again because of the traffic. But going there earlier and going off after the peak moment, made me realize that the crowd and traffic wouldn't be such a big deal. And Yes! I do plan to go there again!
Honestly, despite being hungry at that time, my attention was totally diverted when Edmund told me the boink boink stall was there. Who cares about eating, when one can re-live the only childhood memory of this from the festival.
To get my hands on this cuties, I paid RM5 and received two hooks. A fishing hook was tied to an insanely fragile tissue string, by which we had to use it to fish for this water balloons. Both Misako and I easily obtained this many! It was fun as it was nerve-wrecking as the tissue was getting softer by each dip into the pool. The secret technique behind this? Avoid sinking the whole string into the pool and gently pull the balloons out of the water. Don't pull up the string too fast, this causes it to easily snap! I was such a happy kid!
Right after, the whole atmosphere got hyped up from that little fishing adventure, which made Misako wanting to wear her own yukata, so we went on a little shopping spree. Luckily for her, she found the yukata that she really liked! I am very sorry dear, for wrongly tying the yukata on you!! Seriously, my coordination is so bad, till I wrapped it on the opposite side for her despite using my own yukata as a reference. Thankfully, Emelia and Yuanying spotted the mistake and they helped her to fix it. Gomenasai~~~~~
Just realized, I didn't take a picture of all of us together when we were fully dressed up. Anyways, that's Emelia (left) and Yuanying (right).
A few moments later, it was already time for the Bon Odori Part 1! I was excited and yet very much nervous to dance along. I guess I was afraid of making a mistake and embarrassing myself, but then when I saw the crowd, it didn't really matter, as everyone else were also trying to follow the steps.
Please don't laugh, I was really trying hard to follow the steps.
I managed to dance in all three sessions! By the final round, many visiters joined in the last Bon Odori dance. It was even more fun then! You could see and feel that everyone was giving their best to enjoy the moment. A joyful and harmonious moment it was.
I also bumped into some friends along the way! Really sorry for not being able to take pictures with all of you that I met during the event.
This time around, I didn't manage to take as many pictures, as I was purely enjoying the experience of participating in the ceremony. Probably for my next visit, I will document it more neatly?
It was definitely refreshing for me, as I was able to open up myself to a different culture and explore their tradition.
See you around for the next Bon Odori!!