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BellaOnline's Japanese Culture Editor

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List Of Festivals In Japan

Guest Author - Joy Alari

Matsuri is the Japanese word for a Holiday or Festival, Matsuri is a very important part of Japanese rituals and Culture. In the past, most Japanese festivals were rooted in Chinese Culture but today they have evolved and are now mixed, with the many Japanese local customs and traditions.

Every Japanese Matsuri is celebrated with pomp and gaiety, usually its hosted with at least two main events, with several food stalls serving most of the, traditional Japanese food and drink, there are also stalls which sell lots of memorable souvenirs.
In Japanese festivals there must be lots of entertainment, such as spectacular beautiful fireworks, Karaoke, Sumo matches and Games, such as Goldfish scooping all these are important features of any successful Japanese festival.

The most important Matsuris are usually done with big processions, which can have elaborate floats, most times these big Matsuris are even nationally televised, so that both within and outside Japan can enjoy the Japanese Matsuri.
Japanese festivals are usually hosted, by the various shrines and temples but a Matsuri can also be organized, by private organizations or even the Government.

There are so many festivals celebrated in Japan, that at least one is celebrated within a month and all year round, there are so many Matsuris that some are not even known, outside the given prefectures that they are celebrated.
The dates of most Japanese Matsuri are not fixed because they vary from region to region, some have specific dates such as:

Hinamatsuri
Hinamatsuri is "Doll Day" in Japan and it is celebrated on the 3rd of March.

Tanabata
Tanabata is the "Star Festival" and it is marked on the 7th of July.

Omisoka
Omisoka is "New Year’s Eve" in Japan and it is celebrated just like the rest of the world on December 31st.

Seijin Shiki
Seijin Shiki is the "Coming Of Age Day", it is marked on every 2nd Monday in January.

Shichi Go San Festival and Children’s Day
Shichi Go San Festival is the "Coming Of Age" for children aged between three, five and seven. Shichi Go San Festival is celebrated on the 15th of November.
Another children’s festival in Japan is "Children’s day", which is marked like the rest of the world on the 5th of May.

Its also usual for a Matsuri, to fall around traditional holidays, such as the Obon or Setsubun festivals.
Traditional attire for Matsuri days is mostly traditional, but there are some Matsuris which allow foreign casual wear.

Some of the popular Matsuri are the Nagoya festival, which is celebrated at the Hisaya Odori Park in Sakae Nagoya, Tenjin festival is celebrated in Osaka, while the Atsuta festival is celebrated in June at the Atsuta Shrine.

Other popular Matsuri are the Honen which is celebrated, in the month of March at the Tagat Shrine. Aoi and Gion are both celebrated in Kyoto.
Kanamara is marked in Kawasaki, Sanno, Sanja, Kanda and Jidai festivals are all celebrated in Tokyo. Hadaka is celebrated in Okayama, while Kanto festival is annually celebrated from the 3rd to the 7th of August in Akita.

Other important Matsuri days, are the Cherry Blossom Festival, Hadaka Matsuri, Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival, Lake Towada Snow Festival, Aomori Nebuta Festival, Sapporo Snow Festival and Nango Summer Jazz Festival

So if you want to take that trip to Japan, don't forget to mark these dates in your calendar because you are bound to have a memorable trip.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Joy Alari. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Joy Alari. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ching Kin Min for details.

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