Festival of the Pearl | Broome Western Australia
Since 1970, Broome’s unique culture, known as Shinju Matsuri or Broome’s Festival of the Pearl, has celebrated the town’s diverse and rich cultural history.
This annual Japanese festival, Shinju Matsuri, has its roots in three cultural festivals: the Japanese Obon Matsuri, Malaysian Hari Merdeka (Independence Day from British rule in 1957) and the Chinese Hang Seng. Shinju Matsuri revives the excitement and romance of Broome’s early days when it was a renowned producer of South Sea Pearls. During this time, people from Japan, China, Malaysia, Koepang, the Philippines, and Europe flocked to Broome from the late 1800s to partake in its prosperity. This multicultural population of pearl industry workers collaborated with local First Peoples and Europeans to work on up to 400 Pearling Luggers that sailed in and out of Broome’s Port.
Today, Shinju Matsuri holds different meanings for everyone and among the diverse and numerous events held during the annual two-week festival, a few highlights form its core:
- Shinju Opening Ball at the Shinju Matsuri Festival Hub
- Floating Lantern Matsuri at Gantheume Point
- Fusion Moonrise on Napier Terrace
- Chinatown Feast in the heart of Broome
- Makan Dulu Sunset Long Table Dinner on the sparkling white sands of Walmayjun (Cable Beach)
- Matsuri parade from Broome Civic Centre through Chinatown, concluding at Male Oval
Presenting Partners: Tourism Western Australia, Shire of Broome and Lotterywest.