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It's highly likely that any manga or anime set primarily in a school will have an episode or even arc taking place during the school's annual cultural festival (an important part of the Japanese Education System). The wackier the story and the larger the campus, the more elaborate and strange the festival will be.

Each homeroom class will put on some sort of event to demonstrate the students' talents; the two most common involve turning a classroom either into a small cafe (kissaten), or a Haunted House (obakeyashiki). This itself has become such an ingrained part of the trope that it is rare to see any other possibilities discussed when a class is trying to decide what to do for their participation in the festival, but carnival games and student-crafts shops crop up from time to time. Student clubs will also participate, generally creating club-theme-related attractions in hopes of attracting future recruits. Theme costumes will be commonplace.

May involve a School Play.

Paralleling the cultural festival is, of course, the athletics festival, in which students compete in track and field events and other outdoor activities. Besides footraces, the most iconic events are the "fetch race" (a kind of Scavenger Hunt), the bread-eating contest (a run to buns suspended from an overhead line), the beanbag throw (a crowd throwing color-coded beanbags into a high basket, with winner determined by quantity), and the mock cavalry battle (three students hold up a fourth, and the object is to 'unhorse' the opposing teams). Besides competition at the student-to-student level, the students are also organized into teams (usually by classes or clubs), and the winners of events also score points for their team, leading to a great victory or defeat for the protagonists.

Either event may culminate in an evening bonfire and folk dance, to the lilting strains of "Turkey in the Straw."

Compare High-School Dance, which generally fills the same storytelling niche in Western works.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ai Yori Aoshi, Kaoru and his fellow Photography Club members create a traditional Japanese tea room for their festival. It's very popular thanks to Aoi's talent with such things. Kaoru's a little torn on the subject, given traditionalism's role in his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • The School Festival episode in Assassination Classroom is a huge Continuity Cavalcade, where every minor character (who wasn't an Arc Villain) visit Class E's cafe.
  • Preparations for the school festivals dominates the plot of the sixth episode of Asteroid in Love, as well as part of the fifth. The Earth Sciences Club (merged from the geology and astronomy clubs) settles on a maid cafe emphasizing on the club's interests, with the centerpiece being a boring core from the the school playground, as well as a to-scale solar system model. It seems to work to increase the public's awareness of the club; not long the after the Festival they were invited as instructors for a neighbour childrens' stargazing event.
  • Awkward Silence has an arc where one of the protagonists ends up on the culture festival committee because he was Asleep in Class and too shy to say no. Organizing it completely exhausts him. His boyfriend's class runs a Maid Cafe (the other old favourite, the Haunted House, was suggested but rejected on the grounds that they did it last year).
  • In Azumanga Daioh, the main characters' class holds a small shop selling stuffed animals for the cultural festival during their first year, and a cafe during their second year (the third year's cultural festival is skipped over). For both cases, the same students make the same suggestions at first, one suggesting "a haunted house", another "a cafe", with Chiyo noticing this. It also subverts the normal obakeyashki/kissaten pattern, where in the second year Osaka suggests an obakeyashki kissaten, or "haunted cafe"; when that doesn't fly, she suggests a "haunted cute animal cafe" - "It's full of adorable dogs and cats... and they're all dead." They end up taking the cute stuffed animal theme they did the previous year and combining that with a cafe.
  • Boarding School Juliet has a school sports festival in episodes 6 and 7 of the show. The characters participate in events that are typically found in these types of festivals, such as 100 m dash, relay race and cavalry battle.
  • Baby Steps has a school cultural festival in the 20th episode of the first season, where the main character assists in a haunted house and butler café.
  • B Gata H Kei has a school festival with the main character participating in the haunted house.
  • Bloom Into You has Toomi East's school festival, which used to have a School Play until seven years ago. Reviving this tradition is of particular importance to Touko, the current Student Council President.
  • Bocchi the Rock!:
    • One takes place at the high school that Bocchi and Kita go to. Naturally, Bocchi's class is doing a maid cafe (much to her embarrassment) that the other band members also end up participating in. Later, Kessoku Band holds a performance in the school's auditorium.
    • The manga and anime have different takes on the situation with Nijika and Ryo's high school; in the manga, Nijika says their school is strict, so they don't have events like that, while in the anime she says the school's festivals are super uptight, being mostly science projects and the like.
  • Bokura no Hentai:
    • The first time Tamura crossdressed, besides being forced to as a child, was when he was a maid for a middle school maid cafe.
    • Chapter 40 takes place in Ryousuke's and Tamura's all-boys high school festival. Shuu is seen crossdressing as a maid again for a crossplay cafe. For a contest Satoshi dresses as a bunny girl while Ryousuke dresses as a schoolgirl. Akane and Marika get dressed up too despite being girls. Marika joins the contest because she's a trans girl and actually wins it. She still has some insecurities about living as a girl.
  • In Change 123, some events which are important for the main plot actually took place at School Festivals — so far at least two of them.
  • Code Geass: the first season has the annual School Festival as a whole episode, complete with a horror house and Student Council President Milly's attempt at making the world's largest pizza. R2 has one in honor of classmate/high-ranking noble Suzaku's return. Lelouch, as Student Council Vice President, takes his job as festival organizer seriously, even though he's also the rebel leader Zero. Both festivals have a good deal of Hilarity Ensues and Fanservice, and endings that make them both major Wham Episodes. Worth noting - this isn't a Japanese school. It's a Britannian school in Japan, which has been taken over by The Empire. And yet, they still have school festivals.
  • The Deimon Devilbats team from Eyeshield 21, to find info of their rival team, the Ojo White Knights, go in the Ojou's high-school in the middle of a school festival (knight-themed naturally).
  • Food Wars! has an entire arc devoted to Tootsuki Culinary Academy's school festival. The manga being what it is, the festival is a week-long culinary bonanza with over half a million attendants. The students run everything from hot-dog carts to fine dining restaurants out of school facilities and compare sales figures every night to try to figure out who is the best. Failing to turn a profit is grounds for expulsion.
  • Fruits Basket includes two festivals, one where the main characters' class has a riceball stand (with Yuki in a dress as a sideshow attraction) and the next year when they stage a School Play of Cinderella. Sorta.
  • Gakuen Alice had a festival episode where Mikan's Special Abilities class had an Arabian themed maze game.The entering people had to go through stages in order to win, such as to not laugh at a boy who has an Alice that makes everything funny. Also a particularly humorous scene in which Natsume faked an injury to trick Mikan,which worked. It also had a major plot point where Ruka's crush on Mikan is revealed at the ending dance as Natsume looks on peeved. But the person to dance with Mikan in the couple's dance ends up being Hotaru!
  • A chapter in Gakuen Babysitters takes place in Morinomiya's school festival, and the toddlers participate by opening up their own vegetable-themed cafe.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka manga ends with one being in the works.
  • Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto: Has the typical sports festival and school festivals, but with Sakamoto's teammates attempting to sabotage his chances to look bad in front of girls for the former, and another delinquent incident in the latter. For the cultural festival, class 1-2 made a room themed around "mysteries of the world" like UFOs and Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti.
  • In Hayate × Blade Tenchi Academy gets a maid-themed festival. This is partly due to the Student Council President completely forgetting about the event.
  • Having an art school setting, Hidamari Sketch's "cultural festival" is really cultural— students (if not cough Yoshinoya cough teachers) have to put on display their art pieces and school plays. This school festival arc was about Yuno's quest for a topic for the aforementioned art piece.
  • Chapter 58 of I Belong to the Baddest Girl at School sees Unoki and Toramaru on a date at their school's culture festival. At the end of the day one of the third year classes is set to host a Love Confession competition; the perfect place for Unoki and Yutaka to finally admit their feelings to their respective crushes. Unfortunately, they never get the chance. A delinquent from a rival school uses the festivities as cover to kidnap Unoki and blackmail Toramaru, and by the time she's dealt with the festival is long over.
  • Inuyasha featured a two-part episode centering on the festival held by Kagome's school. The series being what it is, several monsters show up and Kagome and Inuyasha are obliged to find and vanquish them while Kagome tries to both prevent anyone at the school from catching on and fulfill the various responsibilities her friends have roped her into. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Iris Zero chapters eight and nine: They have not one, but two, battling cafes: a Maid Cafe vs. classical Japanese dress cafe.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has both a sports festival and a culture festival arc, both of which end up being major turning points in the series.
    • The sports festival it A Day in the Limelight for Ishigami, delving into his past and serves as his transition to being the tritagonist of the series. It also serves as an introduction to the cheer team, several of whom go on to be major supporting characters for the remainder of the story.
    • The culture festival (known in-universe as the "Devoted Hearts Festival") is a two day event that has multiple overlaping plotlines and culminates in Kaguya and Shirogane's First Kiss.
  • Kaitou Saint Tail has to steal something during a School Festival that involves costumes... so she puts up an illusion that every girl in school is dressed just like her to keep her detective pursuer running.
  • Karin's school has one, the first one Secret-Keeper Kenta's ever been to. Unfortunately, Karin's Jerkass of a grandma Elda shows up to make trouble.
  • Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!: The Motion Picture Club's second project is creating a short film about the school's Robotics Club mascot and screening it at the school festival. Besides the work to produce the film, they have to come up with novel ways to compete with dozens of other clubs trying to get visitors.
  • Chapter 20 of Kitsune no Yomeiri focuses on the Cultural Festival of the main character's school, focusing one Ousuke, Kyouka and Kanon being roped into running their classes maid café by themselves.
  • A sort-of plot point in The King of Fighters's Spin-Off manga KOF:KYO. Athena is asked to perform at school and recruits Kensou, Kyo, and Kyo's girlfriend Yuki to have a band... as well as Iori Yagami, of all people. And then Goenitz crashes the festival, destroys the stage, shows off how he defeated and kidnapped Iori, and challenges Kyo.
  • Koihime†Musou's High School AU Bonus Episode trilogy wraps up with an episode set at St. Francesca's school festival. The main characters do a cafe dressed in Shuri's outfit from the main series, and every other class gets to put on a show.
  • Komi Can't Communicate:
    • Volumes 5 and 17 both focus on cultural festivals, with Komi's class running a Maid Cafe in their first year, and performing a pair of plays in their second. The second year's festival also marks the point where Komi and Manbagi both realize the other also has feelings for Tadano, as Komi ends one of the plays with a genuine Love Confession. Meanwhile, Tadano ends up getting Dragged into Drag two years in a row.
    • Chapter 244 involves the main characters younger siblings at their own school's cultural festival. Hitomi spends the whole day dragging Shousuke from class to class so that everyone gets to spend time with him.
  • Komori San Cant Decline: Shuri, Megumi, and Masako visit a high school culture festival in chapter 43 to see if they'd be interested in attending. As per usual, Shuri gets roped into helping out at one of the booths.
  • Lucky Star's anime adaptation has its final episode focus on the lead-up to the school's cultural festival (which the English dub refers to as the "arts festival"). Aside from their own classes' projects, all the main characters put together a cheerleading routine for the festival's opening ceremony, which is an expanded version of the dance that's shown in the anime's opening theme. Konata gets her class to do fortune-telling and dresses up in Yuki Nagato's witch outfit from Haruhi Suzumiya, Kagami's class does the typical haunted house, and Yutaka's class does a Takarazuka Revue-themed cafe, which gives Hiyori an excuse to dress Minami and Yutaka up as a prince and a princess, respectively.
  • An example of an obakeyashiki can be found in the school festival episode of Mahoraba.
  • Maid-Sama! has at least one of these, with the Student Council President vetoing what she considers ridiculous suggestions for class booths.
  • Manabi Straight! revolves almost entirely around the actions of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council, headed by the eponymous Manabi, to save their school festival and keep the spirit of Seioh alive. They by and far succeed.
  • In Marginal #4, the titular idol group's idol senpais, Lagrange Point, pay them a visit at their school festival and end up helping out in the class cafe - and performing as an opening act to Rui's class's play.
  • Miki's class in Marmalade Boy runs a kissaten at their School Festival.
  • My Hero Academia has UA's Sports Festival and Cultural Festival, which are both a huge deal due both to the school's worldwide fame and the fact that they train future heroes.
    • In UA's Sports Festival, the main characters of Class 1-A first enter the spotlight. On top of taking place after an attack on the school — basically as a "screw you" to villains of the world—it highlights the students' Quirks and gets the kids sponsorship offers from established hero offices.
    • The UA Cultural Festival is a Breather Episode, coming after the Overhaul Arc and allowing the students to blow off steam. That doesn't mean there aren't any fights, but the arc as a whole is pretty lighthearted, especially as a way to Heal the Cutie from the previous arc.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi takes the trope and runs with it. A city-sized school having a festival somewhere in size and scope between Disneyland and Mardi Gras, complete with airship rides, a fighting tournament, holographic amusements, a parade with everything from costumes to Humongous Mecha, beauty contests, concerts, plays, a 1:1 scale replica of l'arc de triomphe, a fleet of zeppelins with large TVs on the side and the usual student-run cafes and haunted houses. Negi's class does a haunted house of their own, which is helped by the fact that one of their classmates just happens to be a ghost. It also happens to be one of the largest arcs in the series, with half the manga by the time it concluded either leading up to or taking place during it. The whole affair is capped off with a small war.
  • There is one in Nodame Cantabile, which leads to a very ... creative interpretation of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", in which Nodame plays the lead part on a melodica — while wearing a bulky mongoose costume.
  • The Asahigaoka students of Non Non Biyori attempt a school festival. However, Asahigaoka's school is in the countryside and its student body is in the single digits, so the "festival" consists of just one class, the visitors are minimal, and the events include a Cosplay Café with costumes of varying quality and a performance that goes wrong very quickly.
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • With Ouran being an Elaborate University High for rich students, their cultural festival is very elaborate and uses a lot of expensive set-ups. In the manga it's explained that most of the students are heirs to various companies, so the cultural festival is meant for them to demonstrate their skills in management and budgeting through how well they set up and organize the activities.
    • The anime's final two episodes involves the school's sports festival. Of course, being Ouran, the festival is over the top. The typical 'bread eating race' is turned into a bread dining event, the bean bags are made by a famous designer, and the cavalry race is scrapped since they think that it would require actual horses.
    • The manga has another cultural festival where the goal is to cook curry. Each stop requires a test after which the participants can choose an ingredient from a selection of items. The tasks range from the Hikaru-Kaoru-Guessing Game over the Black Magic Club's quiz on Curses and their origins to Kyouya's sadistic Crossword Puzzle.
  • Persona 4: The Animation has this in episode 19, complete with a cheesy play, beauty pageant, cross-dressing pageant and a "Group Date Cafe."
  • The festival in School Days forms a major plot point, since the dance around the bonfire is used for couples to declare their love. Of course, the "lounge" at the haunted house helps some too. There was also some amusement to be had by the fact that one class actually did do a "haunted cafe", staffed by zombie cosplayers.
  • Pretty Cure: HeartCatch Pretty Cure! had a good portion of its story dealing with this and is basically the culmination of the whole Fashion Club storyline as Erika's dream is realized.
  • The 5th episode of Re-Kan! take place during the school festival. The mains characters make the classic Haunted House, except theirs involve real ghosts, thanks to Amami's ability to comunicate with them.
  • A major story arc in Rosario + Vampire involved Tsukune preparing for the school festival, but the festival itself was only a minor arc to wrap up the season.
  • Sailor Moon has more than one of these:
    • In the R anime, Rei's school organizes one and Rei is slated to sing in there. Too bad the Monster of the Week crashes it. In the manga, this is played differently as Kooan of the Ayakashi sisters infiltrates it as a student and fortune teller, then attempts to recruit students for Black Moon and gets them killed. She dies in her duel with Moon, but Rei is kidnapped by Rubeus.
    • In the Stars anime, Usagi's class runs a kissaten with the girls wearing adorable meido customes and then attempting to get along with the Sailor Starlights, whose identities have just been revealed. Then it's crashed by Sailor Lead Crow, who thanks to the dead Aluminium Siren has deduced that Usagi has a very powerful Star Seed. This leads to Lead Crow taking the school hostage in exchange for said Seed, Usagi almost dying at her hands, Princess Kakyuu finally revealing herself and saving Usagi, and Lead Crow's Alas, Poor Villain death.
  • The Culture festival "with minimum amount of culture possible" in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, as mandated by the titular teacher himself.
  • In School Rumble the students take the culture festival very seriously. When they can't choose between hosting a cafe and putting on a play, there's only one way to decide — WITH GUNS! And that's only the start of the culture festival arc. It ends with Eri spraining her ankle before she can compete in the relay, and then Harima promising to win the race for her. Then they dance together at the bonfire.
  • In Strawberry 100% the Manaka's Film Club makes his movies for the Festival using the girls to lure viewers and win the money prize.
  • All of Ai Yazawa's long series set in a High School involve one. In Tenshi Nanka Ja Nai, since the main characters are in the student council, they have to organize it themselves. In Neighborhood Story and Paradise Kiss, it's an excuse for the aspiring fashion designer protagonists to create a Pimped-Out Dress.
  • 'Tis Time for "Torture," Princess sets two chapters at the sports day for Maomao-chan's preschool. The Princess is brought along... because the Hell-Lord wants to "torture" her by having Maomao-chan pick him over her when she gets "Someone you like" in the fetch race. She picks her mother instead.
  • The feature-length Urusei Yatsura film Beautiful Dreamer is centered, in an odd and surreal way, around one such school festival. Megane insists on turning their class into a World War II Nazi coffee shop, Mendo supplies a panzer for added authenticity, and things only get weirder (albeit more tasteful) from there.
  • Touno Junna's class in W~Wish runs an obakeyashiki.
  • This was a central topic of Wandering Son several times within the middle school portion of the series. While haunted houses were seen and the protagonists sister was a part of a cafe, the protagonists were always either a part of a School Play or a beauty pagent.
  • The latter part of the Goddess Arc in The World God Only Knows occurred in the school's Mai-High Festival. Although earlier chapters (Flag 54 mentioned that one of the capture targets was going to perform there) before the said arc were foreshadowing this trope as an integral part thereof.
  • In Yotsuba&!, Yotsuba visits Fuka's school festival, where her class ran a vaguely French-themed cafe that served Yotsuba not the impressively decorated cake she anticipated but plain pound cake. As Fuka's older sister Asagi cheerfully said later, "Culture festivals usually deceive children."
  • You and Me has one. Shun and Chizuru both end up dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. The outfit has become popular for Shun in fanworks despite only wearing it once. During the haunted house the other boys dress as GeGeGe no Kitarō characters. Masaki's class also does a School Play of Cinderella during the episode.
  • The original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga features a School Festival story that culminated in Yami Yugi killing a school bully with a test tube full of nitroglycerin. To elaborate: Yugi's class had set up a carnival booth for the school but some Jerkass upper classmen demanded the space for their okonomiyaki stand and wrecked the booth and put their massive grill in its place. Yami then shows up and challenges the head jerkass to air hockey on their grill using a puck of ice with the tube of nitroglecrin in it... and using his opponents tendency to hit really big against him by splitting the puck, causing it to break and explode next time the jerkass hit it.

    Comic Books 
  • The trope is actually mentioned in FF #15:
    Luna: Oooh. Sports fest. Like in anime.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Holliday College puts on a school festival in which the various clubs each put on something to show to the community, it seems to be a way to try an pull in prospective new students and the centerpiece is the band performances.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Revenge of the Nerds, homecoming is celebrated with an Olympics-type series of events such as "riding a tricycle while consuming mass quantities of alcohol," the javelin, a burping contest, and a musical/sketch contest.

  • Something very similar is the "School Treat" featured in British works, particularly in works written or set before 1960. A School Treat is essentially a carnival for the benefit of the local school (or sometimes a church) often bankrolled by the local nobleman. One of the principal differences is that the school kids generally don't assist in constructing or running it. See the works of Agatha Christie and P. G. Wodehouse in particular (School Treats are a frequent feature of Wodehose works).
  • In Accel World, Umesato holds its school festival in Volume 13, thus creating a situation in which the protagonists could potentially encounter and be challenged by members of other Legions, who would be outside of their territory. Unlike some school festivals, this is held in June, rather than October.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • This gets a twist due to the espers. Powers are allowed in competitions, which means the lesser schools are inevitably completely shown up by the better ones, even with a handicap. Though Touma's class of Level Zeroes does surprisingly well, and not because of his Anti-Magic hand. It's because someone made their teacher cry.
    • The Railgun side of the arc involves a plot to kidnap Mikoto Misaka that accidentally grabs one of her clones instead, a mind-controller erasing all memories of Mikoto from her closest friends, the swim team girls being badass, two Level 5 espers teaming up against a Kihara, plus a few flashbacks to said mind-controller's heartwarming interactions with Mikoto's very first clone. Oh, and the overly-confident Tokiwadai girls get curb-stomped by a school of low-level espers who were very cautious and well-prepared.
    • Separate from the sports festival, there is also a city-wide festival where schools compete to attract new students, and Tokiwadai puts on a rather more organized than typical one to show off the non-esper portion of their curriculum.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
  • Hensuki: Are You Willing to Fall in Love with a Pervert, as Long as She's a Cutie?: In Volume 7, the Calligraphy Club has to earn enough profit from the culture festival in order to make up for misuing the club budget and avoid being disbanded. Starting a successful Maid Cafe in the festival turns out to be harder than the club thought, though Sayuki successfully uses a different festival activity to advertise the club's cafe and boost their customers.
  • The first arc of Hyouka revolves around unravelling the mystery of just went on at one of the school's cultural festivals nearly forty years ago, while the preparations for one class's film project form the basis of the second arc and the third arc features the festival itself. Kamiyama High's cultural festival is a little unusual in that it takes place for three (formerly five) days rather than the usual one.
  • Maria Watches Over Us:
    • The Yamayurikai at Lillian Jogakuen puts on a performance of Cinderella at their School Festival, which becomes a major plot point.
    • When festival time rolls around again, they do Torikaebaya Monogatari, mostly at Sachiko's insistence so she doesn't have to play the lead. Touko having the split her time between the Yamayurikai's play and the Drama Club's production of Little Women is also a source of drama in the lead up. Yumi and Yoshino's class are quite laid back in comparison, simply doing a food stall.
  • Toradora! has an arc dedicated to the cultural festival. Ryuji's class puts on a Wrestling Show, with Taiga as the Big Bad and Ryuji as her dragon.

    Live-Action TV 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Barney & Friends had this plot at least 2 times. "Falling for Autumn" involves the kids preparing for the school's Fall Festival while "Any Way You Slice It" has them try to decide what to make for their booth at the school's International Festival, ultimately opting to showcase bread.

    Video Games 
  • The Fighting Game Asuka 120% Burning Fest. is set around a school festival at a girls' private school, where each club sends a representative to compete in a martial arts tournament to determine budget allocations.
  • The remake of Disgaea 3 on the Playstation Vita has Evil Academy's Culture Festival as one of the new side-stories, giving the spotlight to Master Big Star and Salvatore. However, an eagle-eyed viewer can catch a quick glimpse of one of the two new characters who are central to the final side-story.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, the Cultural Festival each year is actually associated with units rather than classes (though clubs can also put something together if they wish to), with each unit getting an event dedicated to it eventually:
    • UNDEAD put on a butler cafe (at Kaoru's suggestion, of course).
    • Knights and Ra*bits perform a ballet.
    • Akatsuki collaborate with the Theatre Club to put on a School Play due to Keito being too busy with Student Council work to organise something on their own.
    • Ryuuseitai do a food truck and sentai performance.
    • Valkyrie and Switch put on a haunted house together.
  • Final Fantasy VIII: At the start of the game, the previous organizer of the school festival decided to leave Balamb Garden, and he won't become a See D or even graduate. Selphie decides to take over, but is also struggling to find volunteers. At the very least, she was able to do a concert during the events of Disc 2.
  • When the school is turned into a dungeon in Fortune Summoners Arche asks if it's dungeon sports day.
  • Happens multiple times in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, which takes place over a three year period. Happens once in the sequel, which lasts only one year in universe.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2: Innocent Sin briefly mentions that the school festival is just around the corner, but it gets cancelled when the plot starts. Since the game doesn't have a calendar system, it's one of the few pieces of evidence that the game takes place over the course of almost a year: these festivals take place in late October/early November, and the game ends in August, on the day of the Grand Cross.
    • In Persona 3, nearly a whole week (in game time) is spent setting up the plot for the Culture Festival... which is then rained out by one of the largest typhoons in years. This was a disappointment for a small segment of the fanbase, who really wanted to see Yukari in that maid costumenote . Several NPCs also moan their great disappointment out loud, and the Main Character is asked if he's disappointed for the same reason.
    • Persona 4 has a festival as well. Since the game is set in a sleepy rural town, the festival is fairly short and mundane, and all it really does is give you brownie points with some of your social link friends. As a side note: Don't mention "Group Date Cafe" or "Beauty Contest" to any of your party members (the guys had to cross-dress and the girls had to wear swimsuits in front of the whole school competing with the bullies).
    • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth makes things up for the Persona 3 cast by bringing them, alongside the Persona 4 cast, into an alternate dimension which consists entirely of a school festival. Except they're trapped in the seemingly unending festival, and some of the attractions are labyrinths filled with deadly Shadows.
    • Persona 5 has a big festival, but most of your team is tense throughout, since the school is under major scrutiny and nobody wants to slip and accidentally out themselves as the infamous Phantom Thieves; in fact, one of the headline events is detective Goro Akechi giving a talk and revealing that he knows what your team's been up to, though he keeps your names secret. That said, there are still a couple lighthearted moments as well, namely going to a takoyaki cafe where the only item still available is a "Russian Takoyaki" with one of the takoyakis being colored bright red, and saving a teammate from having to answer a potentially incriminating question onstage by yelling something embarrassing in front of the entire student body like "I've always loved you!" or "Blonde hair is dumb!"
  • Trails Series:
    • Chapter 3 in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in The Sky FC has you take part in one. There is of course food stands and a cafe, and you take part in a play. One NPC lampshades the lack of a haunted house, wondering if it's too cliche.
    • Similarly, the original The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel game has an ending chapter involving your main characters, known as Class VII, participating in a massive school festival for Thors Military Academy and putting on a big concert show... which is almost canceled due to the latest weirdness emanating from the Old Schoolhouse, until your party takes care of it.

    Visual Novels 
  • Setting up the school festival plays a major role in Yukiko and Takahisa's stories in 11eyes -Resona Forma-. Ema's class puts on a cat ears Maid Cafe (even the boys dress up as maids), and Yukiko has the Modern Society Studies Club create a megaplex. Though in both cases, the festival is secondary to other issues that crop up.
  • In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, during the Talent Development plan minigame, a board game in which you play as one of the characters from the three games throughout their time at Hope's Peak, your character will take part in the sports and culture festivals. Both are scripted events in which you make one of three choices, each of which shows a different event and gives you a different kind of Talent Fragment (which you use to buy and upgrade skills).
  • In Doki Doki Literature Club!, Monika decides to hold a poetry showcase during the cultural festival, and you can either help Yuri or Natsuki prepare for it. Unfortunately, we never get to see the festival proper, because Sayori hangs herself on the morning of the festival, causing the game to glitch and reset.
  • Serves as the Point of No Return in Katawa Shoujo, that determines which of the girls' routes Hisao is on. Depending on who he ends up pursuing from the choices made in the weeks leading up the the festival, he experiences a different side of it, such as Rin's mural or winning a stuffed cat for Shizune from a game. He might even skip out on it to spend time with Hanako, or, if you failed to meet the requirements for any of the girls, Kenji.
  • In Kindred Spirits on the Roof, the main event for the month of September is the school festival. It's relatively humble compared to other high schools, but it has a few significant events. Youka performs a concert in it, resulting in a public Love Confession to and Concert Kiss with her love interest Aki. Matsuri and Miyu, who are feuding at the moment, decide to settle their dispute by taking their mutual friend and kohai Hina (Yuna's Childhood Friend) out to the festival and seeing who can give her a better time. That event shakes up the plot when Hina rejects both Matsuri and Miyu and confesses to Yuna instead.
  • In Princess Evangile, the school festival becomes a plot point early in the main heroine route locks as well as Mitsuki's fandisc route.
    • In Rise's route, thanks to Masaya's and the White Lily Society's influence, the School Festival is opened to people outside of Vincennes Academy. Unfortunately, two Yakuza goons, the same ones who had been giving Masaya problems earlier during the common route, cause a commotion that ends with Masaya beating the crap out of one of them for disturbing the peace. It proves to be good publicity on his and the White Lily's part, as their ratings soar not long afterward.
    • In all other routes, the School Festival remains restricted to the students and faculty of Vincennes. Of particular note is Mitsuki's route, where the School Festival is where she decides to reveal that she and Masaya are now dating.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair doesn't actually show the school festival on screen, since most of the game takes place over the course of a single night. That said, the normally introverted Momoko became quite popular after performing at the festival, resulting in Hiro asking her out.
  • The prologue of Starswirl Academy ends with a "Stargazing Festival", where all the students gather on the school lawn and turn off all the lights on campus to gaze up at the stars on the first night of school. Depending on your choices, Player Character Tom can attend with Tai, go alone and meet someone else, stay alone through the festival, or skip it altogether.

    Western Animation 
  • Beetlejuice: "Bizarre Bazaar" has B.J. helping Lydia out at a school carnival. His haunted house ride is harmless spooky fun to everyone else (even Lydia's parents), but when Claire Brewster boards, she gets put through a ride worthy of The Devil and Daniel Webster.
  • Peppa Pig has a cute episode where Peppa's playgroup puts on a school fête.
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Beauty Queen", Springfield Elementary hosts a school carnival, complete with rides, caricature artists, and a raffle.


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Alternative Title(s): Sports Festival


The Culture Festival Begins

Shuchi'in Academy's Devoted Hearts Culture Festival starts off with a bang, and serves as the backdrop for the final quarter of the the third season.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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