Monday, August 21, 2017

Summer holidays

It's already ten days to September. (Time flies! )
I hope you all are enjoying your summer.

Here, school summer holidays are from around July 20 to August 31,
and most of the companies have Obon holidays from around Aug.13 to 18 
(just about a week, by adding weekend holidays on it). 

So some people have gone back to work already, 
and school boys and girls are busy finishing their homework 
for the summer holidays now (the last stage for it!).

*Obon (or just Bon) is the time when we commemorate our ancestors.
During this period, people go back to their hometown, visit their graves 
and spend some days with their families.

During the summer, we have lots of summer festivals
such as Tanabata (the star festival), Hanabi (fireworks), Bon Odori (dance), Yosakoi
and various kinds of Matsuri, traditionally-held festivals involve Shinto shrine
which are different according to the region.

Bon Odori(up), Firework(down left), and the Star Festival decoration.

Normally, the weather during Obon season is hot and humid, 
with glittering sunshine and cicadas buzzing.
I somewhat like that atmosphere because I feel "alive".

However, it was quite different this August.
Soon after my previous post, we had continuous rainy days until today.
I gave up visiting some events, most of which were held at night, 
because of the sudden rain showers in the evening through the night.

Just one sunny day, I enjoyed "summer", browsing the town 
with old rows of houses (Koedo-Kawagoe) and visiting the shrine. 

You can enjoy more photos at this site.

When I visited the shrine, there were many couples.
This shrine is an Enmusubi-shrine, 
which comes from enshrined deities (five gods):
two Gods are couples and one God is their son.
"En" meaning "fate" and "musubi" meaning "tie".

You see many Fuurin (wind bells) in the photos.
These are Enmusubi-fuurin. 
Couples write their wishes on the strip of paper 
and tie it under the wind bells.

The note on the shrine's website says:
it is said that ancient Japanese people used to say that
the wind brings "Omoi"; its literal meaning is thoughts, 
but "pray" is more suitable, I suppose :). 

They also hold wedding ceremonies.  
You can enjoy one of the traditional weddings here,

I love the words En and Musubi. 
The original meaning of them is a bit deeper than just "fate" and "tie".
So I would like to write about it next time.
Please just enjoy "Musubi" here:) (sorry this site is only Japanese).

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