494. 12th Annual Summer Natsu Matsuri and Obon Festival 2014

P. Anne Winter in her Yukata.  Copyright ©2014 P. Anne Winter

P. Anne Winter in her Yukata. Copyright ©2014 P. Anne Winter

P. Anne Winter writes: What wonderful weather we are having as a prelude to the oh so popular Japanese summer festival at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Think dancing outside with full yukuta-clad odori dancers. A yukata is a light  summer outfit. It is easier to wear than a kimono. A special room is available where knowledgeable members of the Toronto Kimono Club can help you try one on.

Why are there two times — 3 and 7pm.  Actually this amazing display of Japanese summer fun and frolic is a combination of a number of key festivals that take place all over Japan. The earlier time is focused more on family events but all are welcome for both festivals. An outside stage with dancers and musicians perform at regular intervals. All around the stage are booths with traditional children’s games, exotic festival food, and artifacts made with beautiful designs in silk and cotton. Last year a new activity was introduced from a festival known as Tanabata. It was so well received that it is now a permanent feature. A Tanabata tree is a special wishing tree made of paper where people write their dreams on a note to be attached to the tree.

At seven everyone goes outside. The atmosphere goes quiet while the festival is blessed. Then the captivating Taiko drums start introducing the yukata-clad dancers. Finally all the others who wish to do so, join in.

Copyright ©2014 P. Anne Winter

Copyright ©2014 P. Anne Winter

What is new? A beer garden where you can enjoy a cold drink. The weather might be quite warm. Hanabi ( fireworks) will explode at the end of the dancing. It will be truly exciting to be part of this Center’s activity again. Don’t worry about the weather.  All but the hanabi can continue indoors should it rain. See you there.

Saturday July 12, 2014
3 – 7.00 then 7.00 to whenever.
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
6 Garamond Court Toronto

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