Sunday, June 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1455 half-year's end festival (nagoshi)


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and for the fathers ... did you have a nice Father's Day? I really had a wonderful Father's Day, because I could go walk with my grandson and my son-in-law along the most beautiful Oldtimers. Every year on Father's Day the city were I am living is organizing the so called "Oldtimer Day". Just around the corner of my home there were hundreds of Oldtimers and I enjoyed watching them and sit in them. My grandson was enthousiastic too, just like me and my son-in-law. Yes I had a wonderful Father's Day together with my kids and grandchildren. Awesome ... so to say.

Okay enough about my weekend, back to the business of every day ... creating a beautiful episode for our wonderful Kai. This month we are exploring classical kigo for summer and today that will be a nice one I think. Today's kigo is: half-year's end festival (nagoshi).

Nagoshi Festival Fireworks

Nagoshi is a great Japanese festival. 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.

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.

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.

leaves are coloring
at the end of summer
days become shorter

© Chèvrefeuille

The above haiku is from my archives, but I had to come up with a new one too ...

dancing in the rain
summer runs towards its end
leaves start to color


© Chèvrefeuille

What a wonderful festival this must be. It feels really like the end of summer and I hope that I caught that essence in my second haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 24th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, sweetfish (ayu), later on. To conclude this episode here is the winter kigo for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere, year market (toshi no ichi).

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