Bon Odori Festival happens once every two years and this year the celebration held in Bangkok commemorates the 130 years of diplomatic friendship between Thailand and Japan. The celebration coincides with the Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 which is an action packed event. The event which was held at the Thep Hatsadin Stadium of Bangkok saw two rounds of traditional dance from the Japanese culture. After the event, some went to a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok in order to continue to celebration.
The very first Bon Odori Festival happened in 1987 and was organized by Thailand’s Japanese Association. After the first event, it was organized every other year with the aim of giving the Japanese people a chance to celebrate whether they are living there permanently or only visiting for the holiday. The event takes place every month of December and joined by Thai locals where everyone gets an opportunity to celebrate the Japanese way.
The Odori dance is quite popular in Japan as folk arts that have been passed on since the old age. The dancers are wearing the traditional costume of the country, yukatas or kimonos. The rhythm of the dance is provided by a drum performance based on traditional Taiko. In addition to the dance, the Tourism Authority of Thailand designated the Kalasin College of Dramatic Arts to offer two folk dances while the dancers don costumes with vibrant colors. They chose folk songs that are related to Isan which is the northeast region.
For this year’s Bon Odori Festival, two rounds of folk performances were offered by both Thai and Japanese. Every folk performance lasted for almost one hour. The program began with Awa dance, a Japanese traditional dance, which lasted for 25 minutes. A Thai folk dance followed suit which lasted for 20 minutes and the last performance, the highlight of the event, was the Odori dance circle which lasted for 20 minutes.
The audience received a treat of a fireworks display with a Japanese concept, shopping as well as a raffle draw. Locals who were not able to attend celebrated at a Japanese restaurant in Bangkok to experience the healthy cuisine.