Bon Odori Penang 2009 (盆踊り)

Posted: July 19, 2009 in Event & Occasion
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Bon Odori Penang 2009

It was Saturday nite and one of VisitPenang biggest event. Yes, Bon Odori happened on Saturday 18 July and we were there to witness this colorful event. I also had a chance to try out the slow sync flash.

Bon Odori Festival is a Japanese Buddhist custom to observ &  honour the spirits of ancestors, who return once a year to visit their families. Traditional dance (Bon Odori) is performed to entertain the spirits of the ancestors.

Also called the Feast of Lanterns, it has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years.

Program lists provided by VisitPenang Website

bonodori flyer_back

We reached Esplanade very late (around 9pm) due to the massive jam. Cars are coming into Esplanade through south side (Beach St) and East side (Chulia St). After 30 mins of marry-go-round, we decided to park out car opposite Citidel (penang Road) and walk to Esplanade. (10 mins walk)




I think the whole of penang was there……People dancing to the music


Slow Sync flash at work. I hand held this shot, shutter speed at 1/50.





Due to their delicate dance move, camera only captured the movement of the hands when i fire the flash under slow sync



5, 4, 3….2….1… its 10pm…show time.




Thats me….Digi Man ?? 🙂




We decided to stop by Bayview Hotel (Revolving Restaurant) for some ice-cream. Nite view from the Revolving Restaurant. You can see the traffic on the bottom left corner.


HAHA! poser! Again on hand held, ISO on 6400.


As we are about to leave, I catch a glimpse of the traffic from the big window ( Revolving Restaurant). Oh man! bumper to bumper crawl along Esplanade and roads leading in & coming out of Esplanade….. We are lucky we park our car out of the traffic jam area. 🙂

  1. Kyra says:

    The slow sync effect’s cool, looks as though everyone’s moving super slow!

  2. Chuck says:

    Great photos. Love both Japan and Malaysia, and Penang is one of my favorite places. Bon Odori in Penang sounds perfect (except for the traffic!). Thanks for sharing.

    • chriscctan says:

      Chuck, thanks for your comment.
      yes, Bon Odori is one of the happening event in Penang & Malaysia (due to the high Japanese occupancy rate)
      In penang, news reported over 50,000 people turn out for this event 🙂 and this event was held at Explanade (one of the historical places for Penang) so it mean more to us.

  3. Sasha says:

    Great fireworks shots!

  4. Nina says:

    Hi,sorry if I sound really narrow minded but I just wanna know how Malaysian people seem to have totally forgotten about the times when the japanese treated us during World War 2? I mean,of course its good we move on from the past but i’m wondering how japanese culture is so accepted and popular among Malaysians nowadays.

    Anyway…i loved the photos you took. 🙂 Informative post about Bon Odori as well.

    • chriscctan says:

      Nina, thanks for your comments. To some people the memory of WW2 still haunted them, to others like me, who was born after the WW2, accepting the Japanese culture is just like accepting the Indian and Malay culture in our community. We have been living together for so many decades and we are used to that :). And to speak. Its the same as how we embraces jap cartoon and TV movies & the Japanese food in out country.
      I am happy that you like the photos, too bad this year i had a photoshoot for a wedding dinner, otherwise, i wont miss the photo opportunity of Bon Odori

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