Sunday, 24 August 2014

Singapore Natsu Matsuri (シンガポールの夏祭り)

Before I even begin, I want to apologise to whoever looked for me at the Study in Japan talk at RI on Friday. I really wanted to go, but I caught the stomach flu after I went to ACS(I) on Tuesday and ended up hibernating from Wednesday to Friday.

On Saturday, I emerged from my sleep to muster up the energy to go to the 夏祭り (natsu matsuri - summer festival) held at the Japanese School (Changi Campus).

Why?

Well, it's the only summer festival (that I know of), and I already brought 2 Yukata's back - I'm not going to have brought back the extra baggage in vain! So I went over to my bestie's house in the afternoon to get ready!

Also, the bestie made ramen eggs. They were so delicious I
might just stow her away in my luggage. 
I got over to her house pretty early, since we both didn't know how to tie an obi and wanted to figure it out on the spot. Thankfully, there's Youtube, and we managed to follow this video for a simple bow at the back:

And... tada!

Yukata!
And the bow turned out great as well!

And, we even got a lift from the bestie's parents. Thank you so much!

Entrance tickets
Entrance tickets to the fair were SGD$2, which I think was fairly reasonable. Being non-Japanese, we had to queue up to buy the tickets (instead of reserving them), but since the queue moved quickly, there's nothing to complain about.

The fair was set-up like this: A stage in the field, for performances, and games stand to the side. On the first floor of the school campuses, four areas selling a variety of food and drinks.

The field. Not enough chairs and tables :p
Apart from normal Japanese fare, people were also selling snacks. The Japanese import sweets looked horrendously overpriced to me (because I just bought the exact sweets for about one-third to half the price in Japan), but we did find these cute macarons! Only $2 a packet!

Love the colours!
My favourite part was actually the performances.
Yay! Happy face!
There was this really cute dog wearing a dress:


And a bunch of really cute kids running around! They were chasing after bubbles and screaming.

Most of the performances were dances (I even saw a Hula dance!), although the "climax" was the Bon-odori. But I really like the taiko by the little kids! 
Getting ready
There was this segment where they leapt into the air, beating the sticks. I don't know why, but I snapped quite a few shots of that.

I heard that they practice five times a week, and at home, they practice on the sofa! Now that's dedication.

Games stalls. The queue was terribly long. 
It really feels different from a natsu-matsuri in Japan, but it was really really fun being able to wear the Yukata. I think I may prefer the one I attended three to four years ago, before I left for Japan, but that fair had a bookstore where I bought a Roald Dahl recipe book (and some other stuff). Things with books tend to win out in my memory.

But this fair was awesome because I got to go with the bestie! And also because we successfully put on a Yukata with obi by ourselves!