Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Carpe Diem #231, Nagoshi (half year's end festival)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today another great Japanese festival. It's called Nagoshi (half year's end festival) and it's one of the 100.000 festivals which occur in Japan. Nagoshi is a kind of 'end summer' festival and it lasts for three days. Let us take a closer look at this festival.

Omura Nagoshi Matsuri (Festival) is a summer event held on the evenings of August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Nagoshi is a shortening of “Nagoshi no Harae” which translates to “summer purification rites.” The original event brought to Japan from China occurred in the summer, usually on the last day of the 6th lunar month (June 30). However, because Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar rather than the Chinese calendar, many ancient Chinese rituals take place a month later than the original date. Therefore, Nagoshi no Harae takes place on July 31. On this day, People visit one of Omura’s 25 Shinto shrines to be purified of their sins and then, beginning August first is the celebration of that cleanse. A fireworks show is held over the bay on the first evening, displaying 3,000 to 4,000 rounds.

Credits: Nagoshi Festival Fireworks

On the evening of the second and third, there are many vendors selling an array of food, drinks (alcoholic and non), toys, candy and Omura specialty products on the main road that leads from Omura Train Station. There are also various performances, visual arts and games for your entertainment. The main event, happening on the night of the third, is a two-hour parade/dance competition featuring many local Omura groups. Everyone dances the Omura Ondo, the region dance, while parading around Nagoshi Yume Dori (Dream Street) otherwise known as Omura Station Road.

The Nagoshi Festival is the closure of the Gione Festival, our prompt of yesterday. And it's a lot smaller than other festivals. With this festival the 'end of Summer' is celebrated.

Credits: Nagoshi Festival

What a joyful festival to celebrate the end of Summer. I don't know if there are such festivals in other regions of the world. Not in my country by the way, we celebrate the start of Summer, but never the end of it.

celebrating summer
finally the heat is over -
leaves are coloring

leaves are coloring
at the end of summer
days become shorter

I hope you all did like this (short) episode of Carpe Diem and I hope it will inspire you to write and share haiku with us all.
This prompt will stay on 'til June 27th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode, Semi (cicada), later on today around 9.00 PM (CET). !! The linking widget for this episode will be open for submissions at 8.30 PM (CET) !!


  1. I seem to have difficulty with the specific events in Japan as opposed to a word I can relate to personally. How do you make the haiku engaging without that personal knowledge?

    1. maybe by relating them to something similar that happened to you? that's how I work. ;)

  2. They certainly love their festivals in Japan. Thank you for inviting us to them and describing them with your haiku :)

  3. Tricky one to do... had to move it closer to my frame of reference...

  4. I love your prompts, Kristjaan!
    Have a great day!