This week marks the start of Broome’s Shinju Matsuri Festival. Last year we joined in the festivities surrounding this important occasion in Broome’s calendar . Activities are planned so everyone in the community is included.
As the publicity notes ” Nowhere else can you celebrate an Australian festival with a Japanese name where a traditional Chinese dragon is the centre piece and the people proudly display their ethnic origins to celebrate a pearling history that has made Broome the community it is today”
The awakening of Sammy the dragon from his year long sleep marks the start of the festival.
In the afternoon, everyone comes to watch the street parade. The Police Pipe Band plays, the fire brigade is included much to the excitement of the small boys in the crowd and an army jeep is is wearing camouflage. Floats representing the stolen genereation, the medical clinic and many sporting groups pass. Elderly citizens are wheeled by and the Filipino community ‘s float features a giant pearl shell. The whole community is involved.
The faces in the crowd are mesmerised….as am I, watching them.
Though not everyone is excited by the festivities!
The festival always coincides with natural phenomenon known as the Staircase to the Moon. When the tide is at it’s lowest and there is a full moon, the reflection of the moon on the exposed mud flats of Roebuck Bay creates the optical illusion of a staircase reaching the moon.
This year (2013) the festival takes place from the 13th September – 22nd September.
Do you have a local festival that you like to celebrate?