Many people know that winter in Japan, with the exception of its northern part, is not very severe. At this time of year, many traditional festivals and festivals are celebrated in the Land of the Rising Sun.
In the northern regions of Japan, various snow and ice festivals are held in winter. Tourists, as well as locals, admire the huge snow and ice sculptures and participate in local seasonal festivals and rituals.
Numerous rituals and fairs are held throughout the country on the eve of the New Year, the most important day for the inhabitants of the country.
Winter festivals and holidays in Japan:
December 15-18 – the On-matsuri festival of Kasuga Temple in Nara, during which a masquerade procession is held.
December 17-19-Hagoita-ichi (racket fair) festival of the Asakusa Kanon Shrine in Tokyo.
December 23 is the emperor’s birthday.
December 31 is the Okera Mairi festival of the Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. The sacred fire ceremony.
December 31-Namahage Ritual on the Oga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture. Men in the guise of devils knock on houses where there are children.
January 1 – New Year. From January 1 to 3, almost all firms, enterprises and companies are closed. In families, celebrating the New Year, they enjoy traditional dishes, wear the best kimono or other festive clothing, visit Shinto and Buddhist temples, where they pray for health and happiness in the coming year.
January 6-Dedzomesiki, or New Year’s Day parade of Tokyo firefighters performing acrobatic stunts while standing at the top of tall fire escapes.
The second Monday in January is the Day of majority.
Mid-January (for 15 days) – the first Sumo wrestling tournament, Tokyo.
The day preceding the Day of Majority. Bonfires are lit on Mount Wakakusayama, Nara.
Early February (for seven days) – Snow Festival in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The most famous snow festival in Japan with many huge, masterfully made sculptures of snow and ice.
Early or mid-February-Snow festivals in Asahikawa, Abashiri, and other cities in Hokkaido.
February 3 or 4-Setsubun (spring eve), or the bean-throwing festival. It is held in leading temples throughout Japan.
February 3 or 4-Kasuga Temple Lantern Festival, Nara.
February 11 – The Day of the foundation of the state.
February 16-17-Bonden Festival in Yokote, Akita. Dozens of Bonden figures, symbols of the god of Creation, are carried by young men.
February 15-16-Kamakura Matsuri Festival in Yokote, Akita. Snow dwellings are built in honor of the God of Water.
3 Saturday February-Ee Festival or Hadaka Matsuri (festival of the naked) at Saidaiji Temple, Okayama.
February 16-17-Bonden Festival in Yokote, Akita. Dozens of Bonden figures, symbols of the god of Creation, are carried by young men.
February 15-16-Kamakura Matsuri Festival in Yokote, Akita. Snow dwellings are built in honor of the God of Water.
3 Saturday February-Ee Festival or Hadaka Matsuri (festival of the naked) at Saidaiji Temple, Okayama.
Welcome to the land of the Rising Sun!