Thursday, November 30, 2017

We're in the money!

As the Japanese observe the Chinese Zodiac, each year has a zodiac symbol (2017 is the year of the rooster), but so does every day and month. In November, on the days of the rooster, the Japanese celebrate Tori No Ichi. In the Edo period, these festivals symbolized the beginning of the new year, now they celebrate the beginning of winter. 

Haru wo matsu,
Koto no hajime ya,
In English:
Anticipating Spring,
The beginning of it all,
Year-end fairs.
At these festivals, celebrants purchase ornately decorated rakes or kumade to rake in good fortune. Merchants pray for good sales and farmers pray for a good harvest. We weren't able to go last year, but today (the third and final Tori No Ichi festival or Sannotori this year) I could!

Rake stalls

Heading into the shrine to pray

Of course, no Japanese festival is complete without festival food and games!
Game of some kind (not food)

All I ate this time was a candied strawberry - I was meeting Blake for dinner later.

Lots of chocolate covered banana stalls, but this was the cutest

Helpful pictographs instead of mystery meat!
When you purchase a large enough rake (mine did not qualify apparently), they sing and clap a blessing on your rake.

Here's my rake! Supposedly, it's good to start small because you want to purchased something bigger and better each year. Each thing on the rake is supposed to be a symbol of luck. The face is Otafuku - Goddess of Mirth.

I can't explain it, but I was so happy walking through this festival. I really love living here and exploring and learning and so grateful for the opportunity to do so!


Giggles said...

Wait. Those are all rakes? Holy schniky! What in the world are you supposed to do with something that large after the celebration is over?

On the other hand, I kind of like the idea. I'm wondering what kind of symbols I'd put on a rake for the kinds of things I'd like to rake in for the new year. Might be something to think about in a few weeks.

I clap and sing for your rake. *clap* *la-la-la*
There, it is blessed.

AmandaStretch said...

I honestly have no idea. You might burn it. A lot of things purchased here for luck are burned to send the wishes to heaven once the time period for which they are purchased.

Hehe! Thank you for the blessing!