In the short times I visited and lived in Japan, one of my favorite things was the festival culture. Like the way even the tiniest of villages has something it’s famous for, every place has its festivals.
(I’m serious. It’s really strange to come from a tiny town on the coast of Maine and suddenly have people asking me what it’s famous for. Uh, nothing?)
My then-fiance-now-husband and I stumbled on a White Snake festival on a lake in Hokkaido. At the time, we had no idea what was said or the history behind it, but there was music and dancing and lanterns floated on an inky lake with their flickering votives looking like fallen stars across the water.
Another time, we got to wear ridiculous hats and dance in the Bon-Odori . . .
Can you tell I really like this sort of thing?
Fairs and carnivals are about the closest we get. (This is likely also one major reason I enjoy Renaissance Faires.) I’ve always loved them, and summer has always been their time. Now that my day job allows me weekends off, I might even make it back to the Commonground Fair later this year.
But perhaps my favorite event of the summer is this weekend: the American Folk Festival on the Bangor waterfront. And this year, they’re featuring a capoeira group for (I believe) the first time. I only played for two years, and that was about seven years ago, but that doesn’t make me any less psyched about this.