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Japanese Culture
Matsuri
Matsuri (祭, Matsuri) - The Japanese word for a festival or holiday. In Japan, festivals are usually sponsored by a local shrine or temple, though they can be secular.

There are not specific matsuri days for all of Japan; dates vary from area to area, and even within a specific area, but festival days do tend to cluster around traditional holidays such as Setsubun or Obon. Almost every locale has at least one matsuri in late summer/early autumn, usually related to the rice harvest.

Notable matsuri often feature processions which may include elaborate floats. Preparation for these processions is usually organized at the level of neighborhoods, or machi. Prior to these, the local kami may be ritually installed in mikoshi and paraded through the streets.

One can always find in the vicinity of a matsuri booths selling souvenirs and food such as takoyaki, and games, such as Goldfish scooping. Karaoke contests, sumo matches, and other forms of entertainment are often organized in conjunction with matsuri.

Favorite elements of the most popular matsuri, such as the Nada Kenka Matsuri of Himeji or the Neputa Matsuri of Hirosaki, are often broadcast on television for the entire nation to enjoy.

Some examples of famous matsuri are the Jidai, Aoi and Gion Matsuri held in Kyoto; Tenjin Matsuri in Osaka; and the Kanda, Sanno and Sanja Matsuri of Tokyo. Especially, Gion Matsuri, Tenjin Matsuri, and Kanda Matsuri are three most famous Matsuri in Japan.

Information source: “Japanese festivals.” wikipedia.org. Article date: 26 Jan. 2008. Retrieved: Wikipedia. 4 Feb. 2008 <Japanese festivals>.

















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