Part 3 – Spring Festivals Essay

763 words - 4 pages

In Japan, spring is the season for renewal, rebirth, life and growth. When you think of spring in Japan, you would usually think of the cherry blossoms that bloom all throughout this country. The cherry blossoms are a symbol of “human life, transience, and nobleness.”(Spring, JNTO) There is more to spring than just the cherry blossom viewing. All throughout Japan, different prefectures are celebrating festivals to welcome the coming of spring and to pray for good health. Some of the festivals that might occur in Japan are: Dai Himonjiyaki, Yayoi Festival, and Hina Matsuri.
To begin with, the Hina Matsuri is celebrated all around Japan. The name Hina Matsuri means “Doll’s Festival”. The family prays for their daughter that they grow up to be in good health and blissful life. During this event, the families will set up a hina-ningyo, which are dolls for the the Hina Matsuri. Various dolls are decorated upon five to seven tiered stands. At the top, the emperor and empress dolls are placed. After the emperor and empress, the next dolls on the second tier are the court ladies, or sannin-kanjo, and then the five musicians (gonin-bayashi). After the musicians, the two ministers will follow. The two ministers are called udaijin and sadaijin. At the very bottom are three servants. The dolls are a symbol of protection to ward off any evil spirit. After the festival comes to a close, the family will throw the dolls into the rivers to take away the sickness and bad fortune it may hold. In Japan, it is believed that if one does not pack up the dolls the daughters will have trouble getting married.
Soon after, the Dai Himonjiyaki festival is celebrated in Kumamoto. This festival is celebrated during the weekend halfway through March. Dai Himonjiyaki is a fire festival to symbolize the preservation of grass that remains in good condition. The main events are held around the towns surrounding Mt. Aso. On the mountain slope, you can see a massive Chinese character that is set ablaze across the plains. The Chinese character symbolizes fire and stretches across 350 meters. This fire is called no-yaki, which is “the burning of the withered grass in the plains” (Daihimonjiyaki, Japan: The Official Guide). Another event also occurs at the Hifuri Shinji at the Ichinomiya Aso...

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