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Japanese Events - four seasons

Akiko Tokumaru 2009-03-15

We would like to introduce you Japanese Events in the Japanese procedure.

Events in Spring

Ohanami (cherry blossoms party)

April is the season of an entrance ceremony in most schools. At this time of the year, many people get together under the cherry blossoms in the park and enjoy viewing the blossoms drinking Japanese alcoholic beverage:"sake" and "beer".

Children's Day
May 5th is Children's Day,
which is held mainly for boys. Families with little boys hung carp streamers outside the house. People display a set Kabuto: Middle age Japanese armor inside the house.

Mother’s Day (On second Sunday)
We thank for mother and present Carnation.
May is said to be the best season for outings. Especially in golden week... Many national holidays are concentrated together during this week.

The rainy season begins in June. Generally speaking, the rainy season lasts three or four weeks, and people consider it the worst season of the year. Rice is planted in the paddy fields during this season.
Some people make "Teruteru bozu", a little traditional hand-made doll made of white paper or cloth, for praying not to rain.

Events in Summer

Tanabata (The Festival of the Weaver Star)
July 7th is "Tanabata", the Star Festival.
Tanabata is very romantic and attractive festival to children. Orihime(Vega) and the Hikoboshi(Altair) that are separated lovers are allowed to meet across the Milky Way once a year.
During the festival, the towers are decorated with colorful bamboo hung with "Tanzaku", the small pieces of paper written wishes of people.

Obon (Lantern festival)
Obon is held on around August 15th. It is the festival of the departed spirits. People visit their family cemeteries during Obon.
In the evenings, Bon Festival dances are held here and there to entertain the spirits of the death. A lot of people wear yukata, a casual kimono for summer, and dance until late at night to folk songs and drums.

Jugoya (watching the moon)
On the day of the full-moon in September, we have a special moon-viewing. We call it Jugoya and it is said to be the best day for moon-viewing. We display pampas grass on the veranda and offer dumplings to the moon.

Events in Autumn

This word means moonlight viewing. We cerebrate the full moon by offering the dumplings on September 15th. This festival is regarded as a pray for a good crop for rice. Japanese children believe that rabbits live on the moon and make rice cake.

This is on November 15th. The day of paying homage at a shrine to pray for the happiness and longevity for the 5 years old boys and 3 and 7 years old girls.

Something we do in Autumn
-Eating saury
-Viewing Autumnal Leaves
-Picking chesnuts
-Digging sweet potatoes
By doing these things, we feel that autumn has come.

Events in Winter

New Year's Day
We celebrate a New Year.People participant in various types of events and activities, and pray for good luck during the upcoming year
Praying to the morning sun on January 1 will bring good fortune and happiness throughout the new year.
After the clock strikes midnight on January 1, people gather at shrines to pray for a healthy and fruitful new year.

The Festival of Seven Herbs is the long-standing Japanese custom of eating seven-herb kayu on January 7th. The nanakusa are seven edible wild herbs of spring.

Coming-of-age Day
The second Monday of January is Coming-of-age Day in Japan. People celebrate this day to welcome the young men and women, who have turned or will turn the age of 20 during the current year, as new members of society. Ceremonies are held in every city, town and village. The people who have reached the age of twenty get the right to vote and also allowed to smoke and drink.

Akiko Tokumaru


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