Japan Japan has two moon festivals every year, following lunar calendar. Zyuyoga is associated with the traditional customs of "Otsukimi" (meaning watching the moon on the full moon day in autumn). For the people in the land of the rising sun, the festival is the time for them to honor the moon in the fall, the only time the moon is at its fullest. In the Otsukimi festival, the Japanese often make Dango, a type of rice dumplings (mochiko). It is quite similar to mochi and is served with tea. On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Japanese personally hand mix flour with water, pound it to create that structure-builder before proceeds to baking. Dango cake is presented with a Susuki grass vase during moon festivals. Also known as tail flower, susuki is a perennial tall grass that blossoms in the autumn. The moon watching ritual cannot be done without dango cake. Dango cake and susuki grass. Photo courtesy of Katorisi on Wikipedia The legend of Dango cake is traditionally … [Read more...] about Are moon festivals the same everywhere in Asia?
The harvest festival
Viet Nam News PHÚ THỌ — A constant stream of vehicles have been flowing to Nghĩa Lĩnh Mountain in Phú Thọ Province to commemorate the Hùng Kings and the early ancestors of the Vietnamese people. Parking lots surrounding the area are practically full as people of all ages and regions arrive to pay tribute to their ancestors. Stages have been constructed on one main road leading to the mountain, where musicians and artists are performing, bringing a festive atmosphere to the area. The stream of people continue from the parking lots up the mountain, where they pass Đền Hạ (Low Temple), Đền Trung (Middle Temple) and Đền Thượng (Upper Temple), as well as the Hùng King Mausoleum and Đền Giếng (Well Temple). Towards the top of the mountain the journey becomes more challenging, as the crowds congratulate at the temples, although nobody is in a rush, and delight seems to be … [Read more...] about National festivities in full swing
Among the Co Tu ethnic group, after the harvest and at the beginning of new crop, people often organize a festival to thank the gods of the sky, the land, the river, stream and forests for health and a good crop. The festival is held in the second and third month of the lunar year with two parts: the celebration and the ritual. It is also an opportunity for ethnic people to share experience in production and participate in dance, artistic performances and folk games. Following are photos about the festival at the village:Preparing for ritual activities Conducting rituals in the houseConducting ritual outside the houseArtistic performance (Source: cinet.gov.vn) Compiled by BTA … [Read more...] about Co Tu Festival at Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and…
Spring is the season of festivals across Vietnam. For ethnic groups in mountain regions, spring festivals are opportunities to relax and pray for a good new year. A Rice's Soul procession of the Muong in Tan Son, Phu Tho province. (http://tanson.phutho.gov.vn) Each ethnic group in Vietnam observes its traditional festivals with unique cultural and spiritual features. In the northwestern region the first and second lunar month sees the Long Tong or Going to the field Festival of the Tay and Nung, the Peace Praying Ritual of the Thai and Muong, and the Gau Tao Festival of the Mong. Each ethnic group in Vietnam observes its traditional festivals with unique cultural and spiritual features. In the northwestern region the first and second lunar month sees the Long Tong or Going to the field Festival of the Tay and Nung, the Peace Praying Ritual of the Thai and Muong, and the Gau Tao Festival of the Mong. Nguyen Ban, a cultural official in Ha Giang province, said, “New Year … [Read more...] about Spring Festivals in mountain regions
Under a full moon in January, this bone-dry village in India’s Odisha state bustles with little home feasts, cooked to mark the harvest festival of “Pousha Poornima”, which traditionally marks 10 days of freedom for bonded farm workers. But Kharkhara, in the drought-prone district of Balangir, has not seen a rich harvest in years. As drought worsens, most of the village’s impoverished farm workers have left. Now they work in brick kilns in cities, mostly in southern India, having tied themselves to seasons of low-paid work in exchange for a loan up front to try to feed their families. For those left behind in the village - the elderly or the very sick, and a few families still hoping for better times - Pousha Poornima goes on, but without the harvest or the return of the bonded workers who must remain at their kilns. “Our homes used to be full of paddy during the festival. But there was nothing this year. It was all empty,” Mathura Dharua, a … [Read more...] about As drought fuels Indian migration, ‘those left behind suffer the most’