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If you want to see more than tourist traps in Australia, make sure to visit the Dreaming Festival. This is the time when indigenous artworks and culture are celebrated. The history of Dreaming Festival in Australia dates back to 1997, and it is not the only one in the country. However, it is still one of the cultural of Australia, showcasing both traditional and contemporary artists and performers.
Dreaming Festival is a perfect time for appreciating the richness of culture and artistry of indigenous populations while enjoying the festivities. Make sure you know what to expect before you come!
What is Dreaming Festival?
Dreaming Festival is an event created to celebrate indigenous art, history, and culture. It is celebrated annually in various states, with the latest event in 2022 celebrated in Wee Jasper, New South Wales. The indigenous populations participating in this festival are those from Australia, New Zealand, and Torres Strait Island.
The word “dreaming” came from the core point of the Aboriginal indigenous Australia belief, when the ancestors in the Dreamtime willed the first creatures and people into beings. In this mythology, there is a land called Songlines, which was where the first beings wandered and explored. The story is realized in the festival by showcasing traditional songs and music representing around 120 indigenous groups.
Australians regard this festival as an important part of reconciliation and acknowledgment efforts. The festival is also a chance for many indigenous members of society to promote their works, especially contemporary artists and performers. It is also a great event to remind people about the rich history and cultural richness that formed the country’s identity.
How Do Australians Celebrate It?
The history of Dreaming Festival in Australia might be profound, but the actual event is mostly festive and colorful. It is celebrated every June for several days (usually three), with a specific theme and highlight chosen every year. It is a great destination for local and overseas travelers to have fun and learn.
While the theme is different every year, there are activities you can experience in this festival. Here are several examples.
Witnessing Important Ceremonies and Rituals
You can see traditional ceremonies and rituals that are commonly performed during corroboree or “gathering” among indigenous people.
Enjoying Music, Dance, and Theatre
Music, dance, and stage performance are among the main presentations. You would witness the beauty of artistic performances you probably seldom experience anywhere.
Having Culinary Feast
What’s a festival without nice food and drink? Dreaming Festival is always full of stalls serving indigenous meals and drinks. All of them have authentic flavors because they are cooked by indigenous people. These stalls stand next to each other, bringing a delicious aroma to the festival’s surroundings.
Many indigenous artists have stalls where they make or sell artworks. Their works vary from paintings and decorative fabrics to beadworks and traditional musical instruments. Depending on the highlights of the events, you might want to sign up for a free workshop!
Listening to Stories
Storytelling has always been an important part of Australian Aboriginal culture. Usually, Dreaming Festival has storytelling events where adults and children can enjoy indigenous readers telling you fascinating stories from their traditions.
There is no specific dress code; just make sure your outfit is comfortable for moving around and jumping from one stall to another stage performance.
Fun Facts about the Australian Dreaming Festival
Ceremonies and rituals are something you can witness and learn about. However, do you know there might be moments when you can’t see anything?
Some rituals and ceremonies showcased in this festival are considered sacred. There might be parts that are taboo to be seen among those people. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the leader of the ceremony suddenly asks you to cover your eyes during specific moments.
The festival requires entry tickets for adults (anyone older than five years old), and you can check out the ticket prices when checking out the event calendar for this festival. However, there are also package prices, like seasonal passes for camping near the festival location.
Along with everything the indigenous participants have to offer, the Dreaming Festival is a vibrant, diverse, and colorful event. The history of Dreaming Festival in Australia is not only a festival to reminisce and reconcile but also a reason to celebrate the culture and diversity of indigenous people.