There are still many traditional annual events in Japan. Many Japanese celebrate these annual events with their families. Recently, many foreign tourists enjoying such events. In such an event, you will be able to observe Japanese life culture deeply. Let me introduce representative annual events.
New Year events
Annual events of the New Year are the biggest in Japan. From the end of the year the following things are taking place.
Joya no kane
"Joya no kane" is an annual event held at Buddhist temples. At midnight on 31 December, the priests ring the big bells of the temple 108 times. There seems to be 108 anxieties to humans. There is a meaning to drive away those feelings to the bells of the night.
"Toshi-Koshi soba" is noodles customarily eaten on December 31st. Japanese eat long noodles in the hope that they wii lead and fortunate life.
"Hatsumode" is one's first visit of the year to a shrine or temple. In the New Year, every shrine and temple is crowded with so many people.
"Setsubun" is a traditional event to drive away evil. It will be held in early February. People throw beans at home while chatting "Oni-wa-soto, fuku-wa-uti," meaning "Out with demons! In with good luck!"
"Hanami" is cherry blossom viewing, which held in spring when cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Every year, so many people eat and drink under the cherry tree.
"Tanabata" is a festival held on July 7, or in some areas August 7. According to Chinese folk, the Weaver Star(Vega) and the Cowherd Star(Altair) love each other. But they are separated by the Milky Waythey. They can meet only once a year on this day. Japanese people write their wishes on elongated paper, tie them to branches of bamboo, and decorate them.
There is "Obon", or the bon festival as one of the most important yearly events for Japanese people. Bon Festival is an event to comfort the deceased's spirit. Normally it will be held from August 13th to 15th. In some areas, it is held from 13th to 15th July.
It is believed that the spirit of the deceased is coming back to the house during the Bon Festival. People use fire in various ways to greet the deceased's spirit and send it again. During this period, people often gather in the town and enjoy dancing at night.
"Shichigosan" is a child event held around November 15th. Bring the children to the shrine and pray to God so that children grow up safely. Three year old boys and girls, five year old boys, and seven year old girls are eligible. When the event is over, the parents buy a long stick candy called "Chitose Ame" at the shrine and eat at home.
Every year in late November, Christmas illumination is decorated in the town. In December, various Christmas music will also flow in town. On December 24th, children will fall asleep looking forward to what Christmas gifts Santa Claus will give them. And the lovers give presents to each other. Most of the Japanese are not Christians. However, Japanese people incorporate everything new in their own living culture.
I appreciate you reading to the end.
Bon KUROSAWA I have long worked as a senior editor for Nihon Keizai Shimbun (NIKKEI) and currently work as an independent web writer. At NIKKEI, I was the editor-in-chief of the media on Japanese culture. Let me introduce a lot of fun and interesting things about Japan. Please refer to this article for more details.