The Toyo Matsuri, held at the beginning of December in the oriental quarter of Liberdade, in São Paulo, is, along with the Tanabata Matsuri celebrated in July, the most important festival of the Japanese community in São Paulo. The festival has been held for 39 years now. If during the Tanabata Matsuri the streets of the Liberdade were decorated with bamboo shoots, for the Toyo Matsuri white banners were hang.
This year the media didn’t contribute to the promotion of the festival – it seemed more concerned with promoting consumerism on the run-up to Christmas. Because of the lack of publicity, the quarter wasn’t as crowded as it was during the celebration of the Tanabata Matsuri. Thank God for that, as it was a really hot and sunny day. The program for the weekend included all kinds of folk performances.
Some of the performances were identical to the ones we saw at the Tanabata Matsuri – we didn’t mind at all. Other performers introduced new elements, customes and colours.
For us, the main event of the festival was the taiko bands (the traditional Japanese drum).
Taiko bands represent traditions from different regions of Japan.
The energy put into the performances is contagious.
The complete photo album of the pictures taken on Saturday is here: Toyo Matsuri in São Paulo.
Make a note, the Toyo Matsuri festival is held yearly at the beginning of December.