Monday, November 15, 2010

Shichi Go San and Tokanya

Shichi Go San(七五三:The Seven-Five-Three Festival) is a traditional event to celebrate children's growth and pray for their future good health.  Around November 15th, 3-year-old boys and girls, 5-year-old boys and 7-year-old girls in formal dress such as kimono are taken by parents to a shrine.


These are red and white egg-shaped suama(寿甘、素甘), which is rice cakes containing sugar. Torinoko-mochi(鳥の子餅) are red and white egg-shaped rice cakes made of only glutinous rice. Both of them are festive confections. Tsurunoko literally means a crane egg or chick.

A harvest festival named Tokanya(十日夜) is held in the north part of Japan on the 10th day in the 10th month in the lunar calendar (corresponding to November 15th this year).  The god of rice paddy goes back to the mountain on the day after harvesting of the rice. It is said that Tokanya is one of the three major days for moon-viewing along with Jugoya and Jusanya.

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