Malaysia’s Bon Odori Festival 2022

This event started out as a small affair for Japanese expatriates to immerse their children in Japanese culture in 1977. It has now grown into a much-awaited annual event of about 35,000 participants each year. Its easy to get to on the KTM and then there were free shuttle buses to Shah Alam stadium. Technically three parts but they play the same music for each part – so you can leave after 8PM if you need to take the free shuttle to the KTM… HOWEVER, there was a massive line (30+ minutes) for the shuttle buses when leaving after 8PM along with a massive traffic jam. And there are only three KTM trains after 8PM. I got to the KTM station after 9PM for the 9:49PM or second to last KTM train… According to legend, hundreds of years ago, there was a woman who had been taken away by hungry ghosts. Her son, distraught and upset, went to the Buddha to ask how he could free her and was told make offerings on the 15th day of the seventh month. After following the Buddha’s instructions, his mother was released. The boy was so overcome with joy that he danced to welcome her home. The name “Bon Odori” means “Bon dance”, which refers to the traditional Japanese folk dance that is performed during this festival. In contemporary Japanese society, it has evolved into a cultural festival held during summer. There is traditional folk dancing and the yosakoi (an energetic dance).

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