Sunday, January 15, 2012


The annual National Center Test for University Admissions is being conducted throughout Japan on January 14th and 15th. The test serves as the preliminary hurdle for those seeking entrance to public universities.

Dontosai Festival(どんと祭) in Sendai

Dontosai Festival in Sendai

The 15th day in the lunar calendar is the day of full moon. The 15th day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar has been called Ko-shogatsu(小正月). Shogatsu(正月) means New Year's Day.

According a theory, the day of full moon was the original first day of the month and the 15th day of the 1st month was New Year's Day.
Ancient people had the custom of eating rice gruel with sweet adzuki beans on this day.

Sagicho(左義長) is an event held across the country on January 14th or 15th. 

Dontosai Festival in Sendai
People burn New Year's decorations or the first calligraphy works of the year to pray for good harvests, good health and the safety of families or to send the god of the New Year back to the sky by burning things related to Shogatsu.

Dontosai Festival in Sendai
Daruma dolls are also burned.

The event has 20 other names including Dondo-yaki(どんど焼き), Tondo-yaki(とんど焼き), Saito-yaki(さいと焼き).

Dontosai Festival in Sendai

photo by City of Sendai

仙臺写眞館-Sendai photo gallery-

Donto-yaki at Harimano-kuni Sosha(播磨国総社) in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture

photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

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