Festivals, holidays and traditions in Japan

August 10, 2018 Off By because

In Japan, festivals last up to a week, and are very much celebrated.
Get to know the meticulous preparations of the Japanese for the celebration of the New Year, as well as the purification ceremony.

I cordially greet Dear Readers! Not so long ago, I wrote a travel blog about traditions and customs in 19th and 20th China- eternal. Today, however, I invite everyone to travel to Japan, purpose
get to know the festivals held there, holidays and traditions. So, as you remember, this will be our second travel adventure!

 

Festival days of joy.

Festivals in Japanese culture are celebrated very joyfully. Employees of companies and factories have time off, and flock with their families to temples called shrines. There they are happy that they can spend this Christmas time carefree and together. Actors and artists also put on plays, because they think deities love laughter as well :-) . Miko priestesses perform dances to cheer up the deities and merchants encourage you to buy delicacies, drinks and toys.

A festival storm of attractions.

The festivals last one day, two or even a whole week. The travel blog took a look at these attractive celebrations, which they consist of:

  • Horse Racing,
  • archery art shows,
  • fireworks
  • boat racing.

Going on a trip to Kyoto- a city famous for its numerous temples, we will be able to take part in one of the largest festivals organized there. Places where festivals are held often integrate and involve the entire community, providing everyone with a smile and a moment of respite.

Each season brings with it a new reason to be happy.

In Japan, there is occasion to celebrate almost all year round. Falling at spring the celebration coincides with the time when the rice is planted. Festivals fall season, in turn, they fall within the harvesting period, and showing gratitude for it. The smaller events to which they belong are also celebrated: cherry blossom season in spring or noticeable change of maple leaves from green to red, when the country is enveloped in autumn. When traveling to Japan, we can learn a lot from its inhabitants, who so beautifully perceive and enjoy the smallest manifestations of life.

The truth, Dear Reader, is that it is an extremely valuable skill and a gift at the same time?

Festive preparations to welcome the New Year.

With the advent of the New Year, the Japanese put on traditional kimonos to celebrate it. And the women pin their hair high. The decorations also cover the streets and the houses are cleaned up. Because the old year is symbolically said goodbye, swept away with all sorrows, difficulties and bad luck.

The interiors of the houses are decorated with pine branches, which symbolize the renewal of life. Ropes made of rice straw are also helpful, which are responsible for deterring evil powers. As per custom, the purpose of pine twigs is bamboo baskets, because bamboo is believed to symbolize strength and growth. In some houses, special altars are prepared, to honorably welcome the ancestral spirits and deities of rice, which haunt the world of living creatures in the month of January.

The tradition of giving gifts at the end of the past year is also respected in Japan.

What is the purification ceremony.

The ritual cleansing ceremony involves the ablution of the body, but it is also a spiritual journey into the depths of one's being.. It takes place in shrines and anyone willing can undergo it twice a year: for the New Year and at the end of July. During this time, the priests recite special norito prayers. Then they take twigs decorated with scraps of paper in their hands, and they shake them over the heads of the faithful. Some people rub their bodies with dolls made of paper, which is also to cleanse them from all their sins. Then these dolls are burned by the priests as a sign of their final saying goodbye to everything that is bad and unworthy of man..

Dear Reader, thank you very much for the meeting. Our next journey will be a further continuation of today's topic. And in it you will learn even more about the celebration of the New Year, and I will also invite you to graceful children's festivals, and for the wedding ceremony. So be with us!

Photo no 1.
This is an atmospheric sunset photo, shows the Gate which is to symbolize the entrance to the shrine of the Shinto temple, na Miyajima. This gate was built in 1875, ma 16 meters high, it is one of the largest structures of this type in Japan.

Photo no 2.
This photo shows rice terraces bathed in water. The mountainous and hilly landscape is very conducive to the cultivation of rice. Rice is a particularly revered dish by the Japanese, and is the basis of food. It is eagerly combined with other popular ingredients such as: fishes, vegetables and seafood ( prawns, clams ).