Photo: Japanese Association in Thailand
Photo: Japanese Association in Thailand

Biennial Bon Odori Festival in Bangkok marks 130 years of Thai-Japanese relations

Travel log December 18, 2017 09:42

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Japanese dance performances delight the crowds in Bangkok



The Biennial Bon Odori Festival this year marked 130 years of Thai-Japanese diplomatic relations, and joined in the celebrations under the action-packed Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018 with two impressive rounds of Japanese traditional dance, held recently at Bangkok’s Thep Hatsadin Stadium.

The Bon Odori Festival in Bangkok was first organised by the Japanese Association in Thailand in 1987, and has since been held in December every other year with the objective of offering the opportunity for the Japanese people residing and holidaying in Thailand, as well as the Thai people, to enjoy a traditional Japanese celebration.

The ‘Odori’ dance is one of Japan’s age-old folk arts, with dancers wearing kimonos or yukatas and dancing to the rhythm of traditional Taiko drumming performances. Reflecting this, TAT arranged two folk dance shows from the Kalasin College of Dramatic Arts, with dancers wearing brightly coloured costumes, and dancing in swift, harmonious movements to the beat of folk songs associated with the Northeast region, or Isan.

During the 2017 Bon Odori Festival in Bangkok, there were two rounds of impressive Japanese and Thai folk performances. Each round lasted about an hour and started with a 25-minute Japanese traditional Awa Dance, followed by a 20-minute Thai folk dance, and concluded with the highlight 20-minute ‘Odori’ dance circle.

Visitors also had the chance to enjoy a beautiful Japanese-style fireworks display, a lucky draw and shopping opportunities. At the TAT’s booth, the spirit of Isan was prominently represented, showcasing the Khorat Plateau as the one-time home of dinosaurs and offering plenty of interesting ‘Land before Time’ travel routes with a combination of visits to organic farms and other cultural and natural attractions.