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Holidays, Occasions & Events

Cultural Quintessence

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Traditional Culture & Festivals

Festivals & Talismans

Holidays, Occasions & Events

Gyoji1

Shogatsu
There are more traditional decorations, games and customs associated with New Year (Shôgatu) than with any of the other holidays or festivals on the Japanese calendar.
japanese-new-year's-goods
game-at-Shogatsu
Shishimai-and-Omairi-and-Osechiryori

Setsubun
Setsubun (Feb.3). This festival takes place on the day before Risshun, the first day of spring on the Chinese calendar. Roasted soybeans are scattered in and around the house to drive out sickness and misfortune, represented by a demon. (This custom is called mamé-maki.)
Mamemaki

Hinamatsuri
Hinamatsuri (March 3). Dolls wearing traditional kimono are displayed to pray for the happiness of girls. These dolls are called hinaningyô, and the custom is also known as momo-no-sekku. In some areas, the old custom of loading one's troubles onto a paper doll and floating them off down the river is still practised. This is called nagashi-bina.
Hinamatsuri

Hanami
The cherry blossom (sakura) is the national flower of Japan and is the favorite of most Japanese'. From March to April, parties known as hanami (flower viewing) are held in the open air under the blossoms.
Hanami

Higan
Higan: This is the seven-day period whose middle day is Shunbun-no-hi (the vernal equinox) or Shubun-no-hi (the autumnal equinox). During higan, people visit the graves of their ancestors to pray for the souls of the deceased.
Higan

Kodomo-no-hi
Kodomo-no-hi (May 5). Also called tango-no-sekku, this is a festival for children and a national holiday. Families with boys put up koinobori, or carp streamers, in their garden and a display of dolls called gogatsu ningyô in a room of the house.
Tango-no-Sekku

Tanabata
Tanabata (July 7). This is the one day of the year on which, according to ancient Chinese legend, the Weaver Princess (Vega) and the Cowherd (Altair) can cross the Milky Way that separates them and renew their love for each other.
Tanabata

Tsukimi
Tsukimi(Mid Sept.): Tsukimi (moon-viewing) takes place at full moon in autumn, which is known as Jûgoya. A spot is chosen from which to admire the moon, and decorations of tsukimidango (rice dumplings), susuki (pampas grass) and autumn fruit are displayed.
Tsukimi

Shichi-go-san
Shichi-go-san (Nov 15). At Shichi-go-san, people dress their children up in kimono or their best clothes and take them to a local shrine to pray for their health and happiness. This is done with girls and boys of three years old, boys of five, and girls of seven.
Shichi-go-san

Christmas
Everybody is aware of Christmas in Japan, not only members of the Christian church; but there is no special holiday from work for Christmas, and it is treated rather like St. Valentine's day, as a commercial affair.
Christmas

Omisoka
Omisoka


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