Summer has arrived and one of the events that many Japanese people look forward to every summer is Natsu-Matsuri, which means summer festival. Typically, most of these festivals consist of fireworks and a variety of stalls. People enjoy them with family, friends, and their lovers.
A lot of people wear yukatas, which are traditional informal cotton kimonos,to go to the festivals. The light cotton fabric used to make yukatas, make it a summer favorite for women and children in particular.
There are a variety of summer festivals that go on throughout different parts of the country. One of these summer festivals I attended was the Bon festival. Bon festival usually takes place in August. It is believed that the spirits of ancestors return to their hometowns during the Bon festival. Many families and relatives get together during this time to open their homes to their ancestors.
The origin of Bon Odori can be traced back to centuries of traditions when Japanese families would get together to welcome the spirits of their ancestors. Those whom wear yukata sometimes do a Japanese traditional sedge hat dance with music or play drums and flutes. Nowadays the purpose of this festival has shifted and people just enjoy watching the dance as one of events held during the summer festivals.