FESTIVALS of JAPAN – the unity of the SPIRIT
Why do we need festivals? Previously, it was thought – for fun and to attract tourists. In Japan, I realized that festivals or holidays, Japanese Matsuri, first of all help people to feel unity and belonging to a single community, culture, traditions. In the literal sense, feeling the shoulder of each other. Will briefly try to convey and offer me a couple of the captured clips.
Each Prefecture, each city, town or even urban area in Japan from time to time conducts festivals, preceded by careful preparation. I will talk about Matsuri in Tokyo’s Asakusa district is the famous Buddhist sensoji temple, with the largest paper lantern on the gate. The pandemonium that occurred before the summer holiday (the name I don’t remember), made me long to find a Parking space – I had long in advance and to wind in the alleys. But in this gossamer of the finest streets, the Japanese were preparing for the holiday. Under the guidance of the senior they decorated mikoshi – the palanquin with the model of the temple, which is considered to be a temporary home of the spirit of a deity. It is from Shinto, the beliefs of the Japanese is intertwined with Buddhism, and folk superstition.
On top of the roof of the mini-temple attached cast in gold, the Phoenix, under the roof ridges gently tied the lanterns. Meanwhile in Asakusa on the metro and buses gathered the participants of the ceremony in traditional attire – the men in short Zapashny robes and sandals without socks.
The celebration began with strikes in the copper drums and tambourine procession of people with very serious faces. They pulled and pushed harmoniously, but the brightly decorated carriages, in which the decorum under canopies, sat the children years six to eight, rhythmically and harmoniously playing music, which not one hundred years.
The procession moved along the main walkway to the Sensoji temple, Napanee its atmosphere of celebration. The breathers and foreigners with cameras and barely parted for a procession through the efforts of the extremely polite police officers.
Through the measured chamber music festival begins to break part of the rhythm of exclamations, something like “have committed-have committed-have committed!”, which the Japanese cheer each other on the shoulders carrying heavy floats with mikosi. Each group – a palanquin, robes with their own emblems that indicate belonging to a particular clan, of a particular quarter of the Asakusa area. They not only have to keep the palanquin, following close to each other and jump to the beat of endless “have committed-have committed-have committed”. And, are micosi both men and women. Mostly young people. The procession evokes a trance state in participants, heated (which is not forbidden) drinking sake.
Listen to music and enjoy Matsuri in Asakusa here:
About one of the festivals in Asakusa – Sanja-Matsuri – I want to mention separately. It falls at the end of April-beginning of may. Perhaps, only in the Temple now you can see the spectacular dance of the white cranes (shirasagi-but Mai), performed in the Heian period (794 – 1192 gg). Dance, representing a parade of girls in costumes of cranes, was restored by vintage reproductions stored in the Sensoji temple, in 1968 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the revolution of Meiji. Cranes are accompanied by soldiers, musicians and the media is a huge umbrella.
Somewhere I read that the dance shirasagi-but Mai was born in Kyoto Shinto temple in Yasaka-Jinja Shrine during the festival, the gion Matsuri. Ritual procession of white cranes was intended to scare away the plague.