Matsuri 祭り is the Japanese word for festival. There are more than 300,000 matsuri held across Japan each year, typically sponsored by a local shrine or temple. These festivals are in celebration of the shrine’s deity or a historical event. An important element of matsuri is the carrying of the shrine’s kami (Shinto deity). It is held to show thanks to the kami for nature, for life and for growth in a community.
"Being half Japanese and having spent my childhood in Japan, experiencing the full matsuri - following crowds of people through the streets as they carry a shrine on their shoulders, playing matsuri games, eating Japanese street food and wearing traditional garbs - is very special to me." - Andrea
Every summer, the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre of Montreal (JCCCM) puts on a large summer matsuri. In 2016, Andrea and her sister volunteered by face-painting in the matsuri games section.
The garbs worn in her painting are called "happi coats" and the characters on the back (日本) can be read as nihon or Japan in English.