What is Momiji Gari in Japan


In Japan there has long been a tradition of moving to the mountains out of love for the beautifully colored autumn leaves and enjoying the sight of them. This is called momiji-gari ("maple leaf hunt"). When the foliage turns red and gold as autumn approaches, numerous people visit temples and shrines. In Kyoto, where there are many well-known places for viewing the autumn leaves, the Tofuku-ji Temple, located in a narrow valley, is particularly famous for its beautiful autumn leaves.

A festival for five-year-old boys and three- and seven-year-old girls, with which the children are asked to grow up healthily. On this day, the magnificently dressed children, accompanied by their parents, visit a Shinto shrine. The traditional sweet “Chitose ame”, which is given to the children in large paper bags, should not be missing at this festival. These long "thousand year candy canes" symbolize the children's desire for a long life.

Tori no Hi (Day of the Rooster), Tori no Ichi (Rooster Market)
On Rooster Day in November, festivals are celebrated in shrines across Japan. Markets are held to bring about prosperity and happiness. Decorated kumade rakes are sold at these festivals.

(c) NIPPONIA, No.34, Heibonsha Ltd. 2005

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