Happy new years everyone!
To kick off the year of the monkey, the Japanese commerce association of Washington D.C held a special celebration, Shinshun Matsuri.
The opening ceremony consisted of a few short speeches and a taiko drum performance. The performers played a variety of percussion instruments and dance simultaneously. Each song and dance was more complex than the last. Other performances included a karate demonstration, folk band performances, and the filling in the eye of a daruma doll.
The daruma doll is a hollow round doll named after, Bohidarma .the founder of the zen sect of Buddhism. One eye is filled in before a specific goal is reached, and the other is filled in after the goal is met.
The goal this year is to have more community involvement and a good year!
The celebration also included calligraphy paintings, traditional games, video games, origami, fortune-telling, anime merchandise and delicious food. There was so much to do I could hardly believe my eyes!
my first stop was fortune-telling
In order to get the fortune, I had to shake a small plastic orange cylinder a few times, then turn it over, shake it a little more and a stick fell out. The stick had a number with a corresponding fortune. Because I’ve just started learning Japanese, I needed help reading it. In short, this will be a good year.
I then tried my hand at calligraphy, ate some mitarashi dango (a type of glutinous dumpling glazed with sweet soy sauce and skewered on a stick), played with spinning tops, and bought a couple of Gudetama key chains.
On my way out I got a really good feeling about this year. I hope everyone’s year is filled with good luck, and even better memories.
Happy new year!
Submitted by Just Dandy