Monday, December 18, 2023

Japanese New Years Traditions at the Japanese Friendship Garden 16 December 2023

Saturday 16 December 2023 the Japanese Friendship Garden put on workshops highlighting New Years traditions.

First was a demonstration of mochitsuki where glutinous rice is pounded to make muchi, a chewy rcie cake.   It can be used in a variety of dishes or enjoyed on it own, sometimes with toppings or fillings.

Then there was a demonstration of mochi bana (rice cake and flower), a traditional japanese art form that involved shaping and decorating mochi, the chewy rice cake.  Here, the mochi is shaped into small pieces of various colors, and then attached to branches.  They are then displayed in homes to greet the new year and bring good fortune.

Finally, there was a demonstration of what goes into a kadomatsu (or gate pine).   They typically are displayed in pairs (male and female) at the entrance of a home.   They are typically made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes plum tree sprigs.  The pine represents longevity. The bamboo is strength and growth.  And the plum blossoms are for strength through adversity.  

Until My Next Adventure,

See you on down the road,

Jim Patterson

For images from my visit, click HERE

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