Bon Odori is a traditional summer festival in Japan. Bon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honour the spirits of ancestors. During Bon (usually 4 days from 13th August), people visit their ancestors graves as it is believed that during this time, they can bring their ancestor’s sprites back home and spend some time with them. This custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday.
Bon Odori means simply Bon dance, which is a style of dancing performed during Bon. Whilst each region has a local dance along with different music, the typical Bon dance is usually performed in a circle around a high wooden tower. Band with traditional instruments, such as Japanese drums and recorder, and singer play on top of the tower. The dance of a region can depict their history and culture.
Don’t be shy and jump in the circle of Bon Odori when you come across. It is usually not so difficult to follow and you may be able to pick up some cool moves for your next dance party!
Learn Japanese History
Learn Japanese Culture