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Japanese Festivals

Japanese Festivals


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in English, made by a friend, interesting
in English, made by a friend, interesting

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Published by: api-3820627 on Oct 18, 2008
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By Su Dan Class Two

Japanese New Year
Januar y 1st t o 3r d ar e shouga ts u (New Y ear's holiday s 岁首,正月 ) in Japan. T hes e ar e th e mo st impor tant holiday s in J apan. P eople say to eac h other "a ke-mashiteomedet ou-go zaimas u" ( Ha pp y new y ear ) w henever t hey s ee at the fir st t ime in the new

Osec hi Ry ouri ( ぉ節 料理 - 年节菜料理 )
1. Japanese people eat special dishes called osechi ryouri( ぉ節料 理 - 年节菜料理 ) during shogatsu( 岁 首 ). 2. Osechi ryouri( ぉ節料理 - 年节菜料 理 ) is packed in a Jubako box( 食 盒 ), which has several layers. 3.The foods are colorful and artistically presented. Each dish

Jubako box

4. It is also traditional to eat mochi (rice cake 年糕 ) dishes on New Year‘s Days. Zouni (rice cake soup 烩年糕 ) is the most popular mochi( 年糕 ) dish at this time. The ingredients( 成分 ) vary depending on regions and families. If you are lucky, you can taste many different zouni( 烩年糕 ). Zouni( 烩年糕 ) is usually soy-sauce based with pieces of chicken, chinese cabbage, carrot, green onion, and daikon( 萝卜 ) radishes .

Mochi& Zouni

It is traditional for Japanese people to visit to a shrine( 神社 ) or a temple during New Year's Days. People pray for safety, health and good fortune. The first visit to a temple or shrine in a year is called Hatsumoude( 第一次 去神社 参拜 going to shrines to pray). It is not a very religious event but rather a custom. You can go any shrine( 神社 ) or temple near you for Hatsumoude( 去神 庙祭拜 ). Many well-known temples and shrines are extremely crowded. For example, Tokyo Meiji Jinguu( 东京明 治神宫 ), Kanagawa( 神奈川 县 ) Kawasaki( 川崎 ) Taisya( 大 社 ), Chiba Naritasan( 千叶县 成田山 新胜 寺 ), Nagoya Atsuta Jinguu( 名古 屋热田 神宫 ) are very popular and expected by a couple million visitors during New Year's Days each year.

Tokyo Meiji Jinguu Chiba Naritasan

Kanagawa Kawasaki Taisya

Nagoya Atsuta Jinguu

 Sinc

e mos duri ng th year , the exce pt fo temp les. many depa Year 's sp So, you s stre et to disc ounte wort h it

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e cl osed ays of the o be quiet rine s and com mon fo r o ho ld New this time. s in the s ar e migh t be ices out i f

Coming-of-Age Day (Seijin no hi)
1. The second Monday of January is Coming-of-Age Day, a national holiday to encourage those who have newly entered adulthood to become self-reliant( 独立的 ) members of society. 2. The holiday used to be on January 15, but in 2000 it was moved to the second Monday of the month. Municipal governments host special coming-of-age ceremonies for 20year-olds, since an "adult" in Japan is legally defined as one who is 20 or over.

3. Gain the right to vote 4. Allowed to smoke and drink 5. Age 20 is a big turning point for the Japanese

In the past boys marked their transition to adulthood when they were around 15, and girls celebrated their coming of age when they turned 13 or so. During the Edo period (江户时代) (16031868), boys had their forelocks( 额发 ) cropped off, and girls had their teeth dyed( 染 ) black. It wasn't until 1876 that 20 became the legal age of

 A lot of females

choose to wear traditional furisode (振袖 ,状似和服的长 袖)

Sapporo( 札幌 ) Snow Festival
 The annual Sapporo( 札幌 ) Snow Festival is the most famous winter festival in Japan and attracts many people from all over the world. This festival is held in early February and lasts about a week. More than 300 large snow statues are exhibited in three sites in Sapporo-city, Hokkaido( 北海道省 ): Odori Park( 大通 公园 ), Makomanai(真駒內)and Susukino(薄野) areas. At night those ice statues are illuminated( 照亮 ), and the views are incredible. You can view beautiful Sapporo( 札幌 ) Snow Festival photos.  Sapporo-city( 札幌 ) is the capital of Hokkaido prefecture( 北海道省 ), and the population is about 1.75 million. It is located in the south of Hokkaido island( 北海道岛 ).

Odori Park

Makomanai and Susukino

Girls' Festival in Japan
 March 3rd is Girls' Festival in Japan.  Not an official holiday  Pray girls’ health and happiness  People display Hina-ningyou (the special dolls which are only for this festival), offer hishi-mochi (red, white, and green lozenge-shaped 菱形 rice cakes) and peach blossoms and celebrate the festival with drinking shiro-zake (sweet white sake).

 King and Queen dolls that were called Hina( 小偶人 ) dolls, and these dolls were displayed for only two or three days every year.

Full set of Dolls

Small set with palace

Emperor and Empress

•Hinamatsuri was mostly

celebrated in cities, but after the Meiji Era, 18681912, when hina-ningyou were merchandized( 商品 ), this custom became widespread across the whole country and became the main event of the

• people float paper dolls down rivers
late on the afternoon of March 3, still exists in various areas • Originally, the paper dolls were made to represent each person and all the ill-fortunes that might visit that person in the coming year were wished onto the doll. • Then the doll was sent away on the

•Mother made special dishes. •Friends who were girls and

the daughter sang a song, ate wonderful dishes, and drank a weak sake( 清酒 ) drink that was called sweety alcohol. •Father always presented for she a lot of flowers. •Not need to do homework!!

Japanese Plum Festivals

February is the best time for viewing plum blossoms in the Honshu( 本州 ) region, Japan. Take a walk in your neighborhood to view the pretty plum blossoms! Also, visit plum blossom festivals held at this time of the year.

Atami Plum Garden (Atami Baien 热海 梅园 ) Atami baien is located in Atami-city 热海 , Shizuoka( 静冈 ) Pref. Atami baien is 15min. by bus from Atami station. To get to Atami station, take the JR Tokaido 东海道 新干线 line train or Tokaido Shinkansen( 新干 线 ). It takes about one hour if you take shinkansen from Tokyo and about two hours from Osaka( 大阪 ). From Atami station, take the bus for Aino-haraDanchi or for Baien( 梅园 ) to Baien-mae stop. There are about 800 plum trees in the garden and they are usually in full bloom until the end of March. There will be also various events on Saturdays and Sundays during this festival.

Mito Kairakuen Plum Festival
Kairakuen Park is located in Mito-city( 水 戸市 ), Ibaraki( 茨城 ) Pref. From late February to early March each year, the Plum Festival is held. Kairakuen Park is one of the three great parks of Japan: the other two are Kenrokuen Park in Kanazawa and Korakuen Park in Okayama( 冈山 ). The ninth Mito Clan( 氏 族 ) Lord, Nariaki Tokugawa( 水户 藩第 9 代藩主 德川齐 昭 ) created this park in 1841. This 13-hectare park has 3,000 plum trees of 100 varieties, so you can view pink and white blossoms all over. Mito is just north of Tokyo. It takes about one hour by the JR Joban line express train to Mito from Ueno( 上野 ), Tokyo.

Ceremony of Water and  The ceremony of Fire and fire in Nara water

Todaiji temple( 奈良东大寺 ) is called shunie ceremony, which is also known as Omizutori ( お水取り , "water. taking").  Todaiji temple is well known for hosting Japan‘s largest Buddha statue. Shunie means the ceremony of February in Japanese and is the series of Buddhist rituals, in which priests pray to the eleven-headed goddess Kannon( 观音 ) by confessing( 忏悔 ) their sins and defilement. The ceremony is held at nigatsudo hall( 二月堂 ). Eleven priests, called rengyoshu, pray for nation's prosperity and world peace by

 

Shunie ceremony is held from March 1st to 14th (it's in February in the lunar( 月亮 ) calendar) every year at Todaiji temple, Nara. Two o'clock in the morning of the 13th of March. The priests, led by torchlight, scoop up perfumed water from the Wakasa Well located below Nigatsudo. This water is given to the people and offered to the eleven-faced Kannon-image at Nigatsudo hall. The sacred water is poured into two pots. One pot is filled with water from the previous year. The other one is filled with water from the past rituals from 1,200 years!

Ceremony of Fire

is called otaimatsu. Visit Nigatsudo hall(二月堂) to observe the first watch of the night between 6pm-7pm to view this ceremony.

On the 12th, 11 priests carry 11 torches( 火把 ) to the balcony instead of 10 priests. This ritual is called dattan, and the priests, with big torches in their hands, run through the balcony. They perform hashirinogyoho (the ritual of circumambulation), chanting( 圣歌 ), as they wave rods and swords to ward off evil spirits. Their huge shadows can be seen on the wall behind a veil( 面纱 ). When the priests are revealed, they run, swinging their torches. You will see showers of flickering light and sparks from the burning torches. It's believed that if a child wears a dattan hat, which was used for the dattan ritual, he or she will grow up healthly and have a happy

Cherry Blossom Viewing in Japan (樱花节)
• Cherry blossom viewing has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century . • drink, eat, and sing during the day and night • Dango is very popular . • There are cherry trees everywhere in Japan.

• the national flower of Japan • The Japanese cherry tree does not yield fruit like other cherry trees. • Spring cherry blossom (sakura 樱 花 ) viewing parties last from late March to April to late May.

• In Tokyo, Ueno( 上野 ) park and Yoyoki park( 代代木公园 ) are very popular places for cherry blossom viewing. • If you do not like a crowd, you can go to mountains or other quiet places for cherry blossom viewing.

Boys' Festival
 Tango-no-Sekku(

午の节句 ), the Boys' Festival .  It is Japan's way of celebrating the healthy growth and development of her young boys.


everywhere huge, gaycolored KoiNobori( 鲤形条 幅 ), carp-like ( 鲤 鱼形 ) streamers made of paper or cloth, which fill with wind and

the most spirited of fish

So full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running( 快速流 动 ) streams and cascades( 小瀑布 ). Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles( 障碍 ), it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals. The carp is an appropriate symbol to encourage manliness( 刚毅 ) and the overcoming of life's difficulties leading to consequent success.

The Origin Of Boys’ Festival
 some

historians trace it to an ancient rural Chinese custom (Sechie), in which the royals guards wore ceremonial helmets and carried bows and arrows, which became popular at the Japanese court during the days of the Empress Regnant Suiko (593-629 A.D.).

 One

legend relates that the festival is a branch of a custom practiced by farmers in May, the time when insects begin to appear to harm the young plants.  The farmers tried to drive the insects away by frightening them with bright banners and grotesque( 奇形怪状的 ) figures.  As the Musha-Ningyo (warrior dolls 勇士娃 娃 ) became more artistic, they were gradually displayed indoors, not to scare away insects but to remind the young boys of the family of manliness and to ward off evil spirits.

 Another

legend traces the origin of the Boys' Festival to Tokimune Hojo( 北条时宗 )'s victory over the invading Mongols on May 5, 1282. As a result, Samurai( 武士 ) families erected( 使竖立 ) the flags and streamers in celebration of the victory.  Others believe that the unification( 统一 ) of the country by the Ashikaga Shogun( 足利将 军 ) in the 14th century had been celebrated in this fashion on every May 5 until the interior decorations came to be emphasized.

 In

the modern observance of Tango-no-Sekku, a display is arranged in the tokonoma( 壁龛 ), or alcove( 壁橱 ), in the guest rooms of Japanese

Among the decorations are a miniature helmet( 微型盔 甲 ), suits of armor( 装甲 ), a sword, a bow and arrow, silk banners( 旗帜 ) bearing the family crest( 家 徽 ) and the warrior dolls which represent Kintaro( 金太郎 ), a Herculean( 巨大 的 ) boy who grew up to be a general; Shoki( 钟馗 ), an ancient Chinese general believed to protect people from devils; and Momotaro( 桃太郎 ), the Japanese David the Giant killer


parents provide them with the traditional cates such as Chimaki (sweet rice dumplings wrapped in iris or bamboo leaves 粽子 ) and Kashiwa-Mochi (rice cakes containing sweet stuffing wrapped in oak leaves 用檞树叶包 的带馅儿的年糕 ).

Shobu ( 菖蒲 )
 The

iris leaf is prominent in the observance of Tango-no-Sekku because the sound of the word Shobu( 菖蒲 ), although written with different characters, implies striving( 努力 ) for success.  On May 5, the Japanese steep( 浸泡 ) the leaves in hot water and enjoy the fragrant( 芳香 的 ) Shobu-yu (iris hot-bath 菖蒲浴 ) because of the traditional belief that the iris bath is a miraculous prophylactic ( 预防药 )against all kinds of sickness.

 Also

for the festival, finely-chopped iris leaves are mixed with Sake( 清酒 ) to produce a drink (Shobu-sake 菖蒲酒 ) especially enjoyed by the Samurai( 武 士 ) of old.  people still observe the custom of putting iris leaves on the eaves( 屋檐 ) of their houses on May 5 as a talisman( 护身符 ) against the possible outbreak of a fire or presence of evil spirits.

Aomori Nebuta Festival ( 青森睡 魔节 )
• It's held from Aug. 2 to Aug. 7 every year. Over 20 nebuta floats are pulled by people in the streets of Aomori( 青森 )-city. Also,Aomori( 青森 ) citizens and audience participate in the festival as dancers called haneto( 跳人 ).

• Practiced in Tohoku region( 东北地区 ) • It is a variation( 变化 ) of the purification( 净化 ) ceremony which consists to flow away paper lanterns( 纸灯笼 ) with everything evil by waters. • Before Meiji era, they might be at most carried with hands or on shoulders. • After the war, as a tourist attraction, their size has increased more and finally they are no more carried on shoulders.

How To Make A Nabuta Float 1.Designing Getting materials from historical story, designer starts drawing laugh design by pencil and then colors up. Nebuta designer takes most time for this stage.

2.BuildingNebuta Tent Building Nebuta tents for making and containing Nebuta. Its size becomes 12m width, 12m depth, 6m to 7m hight.

3.Parts Production Making parts ( "face" " hands" "legs" "knife" " spear" etc,) as previously arranged. If the rough drawing is finishied earlier, these parts are prepared before the tent is built.

4.Framing Making wooden frame in order to paste Japanese paper( 和纸 ) with wires and strings. (Before around 1955, bamboo is used instead of wires.)

5.Electric Wiring Electric bulbs and fluorescent lamps (600 to 800 pieces 荧光灯 ) are used inside Nebuta, though candles are used in old days.

6.Paper Pasting Pasting paper, lest it runs off the edge. It is the most difficult process of Nebuta production.

• 7. Drawing (Sumi Ink) Drawing with Sumi Ink. 书法和绘 画用 的烟灰 墨块

8.Drawing (Braze) Patterning with colored braze. It also prevents from blotting( 吸墨水纸 ).

9.Painting Painting with colorant( 着色 剂 ).

10.Placing Placing Nebuta on the 2m height base by 50 people. Nebuta hight becomes 5m altogether.

► July

7th is called Tanabata( 七夕 ) in Japan. ► People write their wishes on tanzaku paper (colorful, small strips of paper) and hang them on bamboo branches. ► Many cities and towns hold festivals and have Tanabata displays decorating the main streets. ► In some regions, people light

Tanabata Japanese Star Festival( 乞巧节 )


most common Tanabata( 七夕 ) decorations are colorful streamers. ►Other common decorations are Toami (casting net 钓竿儿 ) . ►Kinchaku (bag 旅行箱 )

The Origin Of Tanabata ►Tanabata originated more than 2000 years ago with an old Chinese tale called Kikkoden( 七仙女 ).

► Once

there was a weaver princess named Orihime( 织女 ) and a cow herder prince named Hikoboshi( 牛郎 ) living in space. After they got together, they were playing all the time and forgot their jobs. The king was angry at them and separated them on opposite sides of the Amanogawa River( 银河 ) (Milky Way). The king allowed them to meet only once a year on July 7th. This is why Tanabata( 七夕 ) is also called the Star Festival. People say that Orihime( 织女 ) and Hikoboshi( 牛郎 ) can't meet each other if July 7th is rainy, so they pray for good weather and also

► In

many regions in Japan, Tanabata( 七夕 ) is celebrated on August 7th (which is near July 7th on the lunar calendar) instead of July 7th. ► Tanabata( 七夕 ) events are held all over Japan, but the festivals in Sendai-city( 仙台 市 ), Miyagi( 宫崎 ) Prefecture and Hiratsuka-city( 平冢市 ), Kanagawa( 神奈川县 ) Prefecture are particularly well-known.

Obon Festival( 盂兰盆 节 )
 The

13th through 16th of August is called obon( 盂兰 盆节 ) in Japan.  Obon( 盂兰盆节 ) is a Buddhist event and one of the most important traditions for Japanese people.

 Pray

for the repose( 休息 ) of the souls of one's ancestors( 祖先 ) .  People believe that their ancestors( 祖先 ) ' spirits come back to their homes to be reunited with their family during obon( 盂兰盆 节 ).

People clean their houses and offer a variety of food such as vegetables and fruits to the spirits of ancestors in front of a butsudan (Buddhist families altar 祭坛 ). The butsudan is decorated with flower and chouchin (paper lanterns). On the 13th, chouchins are lit inside houses, and people go to their family's ohaka (graves) to call their ancestors' spirits back

 On

the 16th, people bring the ancestor's spirits back to ohaka(graves), hanging chouchins (paper lanterns) painted with the family crest to guide the ancestors'( 祖先 ) spirits.

 In

some regions, fires called mukaebi( 迎火 ) are lit at the entrances to homes to guide the ancestor's spirits.  In some regions, fires called okuribi( 送火 ) are lit at entrances of homes to send the ancestors' spirits.

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