Sunday, 8 January 2017
Oshogatsu! Japanese New Year’s celebration in Ha Noi
At the event, festivalgoers will receive hands-on taiko drumming instruction, as well as the opportunity to participate in games such as painting auspicious Japanese words and phrases with New Year’s calligraphy (kakizome), kitemaking (takoage), and drawing faces on paper while blindfolded (fukuwarai, or ‘funny face’).
Activities will also include lion dancing (shishi-mai), in which a masked dancer with a flowing white mane weaves in and out of the crowd and performs daring feats of coordination accompanied by taiko and traditional flute (fue).
And everyone will be able to try their hand at traditional rice pounding (mochi-tsuki), in which they pound rice dough with a large ceremonial mallet.
Many rituals of Japanese New Year’s celebrations make use of loud noises and music to expel the bad luck associated with the past year. Banging on pots and pans are believed to drive away evil spirits of the past year.
Like Viet Nam, Japan celebrates with a lion dance as well, but it is accompanied by more melodious court music.