Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Carpe Diem #834 Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... we have had a nice episode of CDHK HWT yesterday and it was a joy to create that episode, because I had to look back at other episodes of our CDHK HWT and other episodes (as for example our GW-posts) to find some background and examples.
Today we are exploring another Japanese Festival as part of our anniversary month. Today we have Setsubun Mantoro as prompt and I love to tell you something more about this festival.
Credits: Setsubun Mantoro (Lantern Festival)

Setsubun is an annual Japanese festival on February 3rd. Setsubun is the beginning of Spring according to the old Japanese lunar calendar. It's traditionally believed that the spirit world comes closer to our world at this time of year. Strips of paper with people's wishes inscribed on them are placed over the lanterns. It's thought that wishes may be granted on Setsubun, but they also think that, through the idea of having the spirit world closer by at this event, demons can escape to our world..

A Setsubun related event in Nara involves the lighting of Kasuga Taisha's 3000 stone and bronze lanterns. The shrine (traditionally rebuilt every 20 years (until the Edo-era)  to symbolize continual renewal) dates back to the year 768 AD and is surrounded by a primeval forest. The lighting of the lanterns makes the place feel ancient and mysterious. They are only lit twice a year. (With Setsubun and Obon).
Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara)
dispelling the darkness
after the long cold winter
welcoming the light

© Chèvrefeuille

What a wonderful festival this is. As you have read above I was inspired and that haiku I wrote is awesome and fits the theme for today so well. I am looking forward to your responses. Have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, our second CD Special by our featured haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch, later on.