Bon Odori – Hirafu
Tonight was the Hirafu Bon-Odori. A good turn out from the town who’s spirits weren’t dampened by the sporadic rain showers. A couple of hundred locals came out to sample food and drinks from local restaurant stalls and join in the festival and dancing. Pretty impressive fireworks too!
Bon Odori (盆踊り?) means simply Bon dance and is a style of dancing performed during Obon. Originally a Nenbutsu folk dance to welcome the spirits of the dead, the style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a local dance, as well as different music.
The music can be songs specifically pertinent to the spiritual message of Obon, or local min’yo folk songs. Consequently, the Bon dance will look and sound different from region to region. Hokkaidō is known for a folk-song known as “Soran Bushi.”