Saturday, August 18, 2007

Roundy roundy dancing

I've just been searching for the entry I wrote last year about the "bon dancing" here in Japan, but either I haven't been looking in the right place or I didn't write one... either way I'm sure you will have forgotten what "bon dancing" is so I will remind you.
Bon Dancing is a dance which is held in almost all cities, towns or small districts around Japan in the middle of August and is held to show gratefulness to your ancestors. What it consists of is people getting into a big circle (often wearing summer kimono called yukata) and dancing around and around and around and around and around and around outside, all doing the same steps over and over and over and over and over again to the beat of the big taiko drum and the wailing of the singer who is on the top of a high platform thingy.
In my tiny district this event takes place on August 16th every year and about 100 people gather and go around and around and around for one hour. During this time some people take a break, but always rush back to the action when the men come out with the big bags containing the "lottery" numbers. Last year the numbers were written on small packets of tissues, the year before it was on match boxes and this year we were presented with numbers written on sponges for washing the dishes..... at least I guess they are of more use than tiny slips of paper!
Anyway, after the dancing there is a big rush to look at the lottery boards and everyone gets very excited as they see their numbers come up. This year we came away with 6 prizes - two of which were the second top prize! We received..... 3 boxes of gladwrap, 1 box of washing powder and 2 big cans of mosquito coils. Oh well, I guess we should be grateful there weren't any towels as prizes!
In some of the big cities the bon-dancing is really pretty impressive, with huge numbers of people attending all in different yukata etc., but in our little district I would have to say it is not so exciting... maybe next year I'll liven it up with a bit of a twirl in between the standard dance steps!

1 comment:

  1. warugakiのMommy8:02 PM