Hello dear japanese learners
にほんご がくしゅうしゃ の みなさん、どうも
Nihongo gakushusha no minasan, doumo
In some countries around the world, Carnival is celebrated at this time of year. Japan also has its popular festival which, despite being unique, has joy, animation and party spirit in common with other countries around the world. These festivals are known as Matsuri or 祭り in Japanese writing. In today’s post I will tell you a little about them and their origin.
The origin of the Matsuri is linked to Shinto, the Japanese national religion. The term Matsuri is originally used to designate ceremonies of worship of Shinto gods. The ideogram that forms the word (祭) refers to anything consoling deities, spirits and departed souls. Matsuri connection with Shinto remains nowadays since most of the matsuri in the present are held by Shinto shrines of a local community.
The Matsuri do not have a specific date to take place. In each region of Japan there is a specific date for festivals. Some focus on summer but can happen at any time of the year. As said, they are usually organized by local Shinto shrines and bring the community together to celebrate the harvest, the bounty, or some specific entity. Tents are set up selling typical foods and people dress in traditional clothes like the Yukata. If the festival is in the summer, there are also fireworks.
A striking feature in some of the Japanese festivals is the procession carrying the Mikoshi, a litter of the entity worshiped in the temple of that community. Men carry this litter on their shoulders as the crowd follows. The vibe of that moment is contagious.
Japanese festivals are very rich and diverse. They are colorful, alive and full of unique elements of the fascinating Japanese culture. There’s a lot more to explore when it comes to matusri, and we plan to do that in other posts.
Did you like this little presentation about the Matsuri? Tell what you know, share experiences or ask questions.
Let me hear your opnion
みなさん の ごいけん を きかせください
Minasan no goiken wo kikasekudasai