Seasons and Sekku-Festivals
What is Sekku?
In Japan, it is a day that marks the turning point of the season when traditional annual events are held.
Sekku originally referred to offerings to the gods on Sechinichi, but gradually came to refer to Sechinichi itself.
Originally learned in China during the Nara period (710-794), the five Sekku festivals have been handed down to the present in Japan's rice cultivation-based lifestyle, adapting to the seasons and climate. From ancient times, Japanese people have respected the five festivals and prayed for good health at each occasion. Nowadays, the idea of welcoming the gods during the five seasonal festivals has faded, and their forms have changed, but these events are still celebrated in many places. We hope we can preserve it.
The five major Sekku-festivals
The five major Sekku-festivals that color the four seasons in Japan are "Jinjitsu", "Jyousi", "Tango", "Tanabata", and "Chou-you".
January 7th - Seven Herbs Sekku-Festival: Congee with seven kinds of young vegetables to ward off evil spirits and pray for good health for the year.
2. 上巳 Jyoushi
March 3rd, Peach Sekku-Festival: In ancient times, water was used to wash away impurities. Hina dolls are used to pray for the healthy growth of girls.
3. 端午 Tango
May 5, Shobu Sekku-Festival: Decorate irises to ward off evil spirits and pray for the healthy growth of boys with May dolls (Armor decoration).
4. 七夕 Tanabata
July 7th, Tanabata Sekku-Festival, from the legend of the Star Festival introduced from China. A bamboo branch is used to wish for the improvement of arts and crafts.
5. 重陽 Chouyou
September 9, Chrysanthemum Sekku-Festival: Decorate chrysanthemums to purge evil spirits and pray for long life. An elegant festival with a royal atmosphere.
The dolls (Hina dolls, May dolls, etc.) that are displayed during Sekku along with offerings to the gods and Sekku food are called "Sekku Ningyou". May dolls are mainly armor decorations.