Customs for November

Saturday, November 3rd: Culture Day

‘Bunka no hi’, or ‘Culture Day’,  is a national holiday designated as a day to celebrate the proclamation of the Constitution of Japan in 1946. It’s also to spread love and peace and to culturally inform people. There are many art-related events and school festivals held on this day. For some reason this day is usually sunny!

Parade in Hakone for Culture Day

Wednesday, November 7th: “Ritto”, the first day of winter

In the Japanese 24 solar terms, “ritto” is the first day of winter. It’s right in the middle of shubun, the autumn equinox, and toji, the winter solstice. From this day, you might feel it starting to get colder in the mornings and evenings. The sunlight also feels weaker, and winter is just around the corner. In Japan, the cold wind that blows in winter is called “kogarashi”, so the first cold wind that blows around ritto is called, “Kogarashi No.1”.

Thursday, November 15th: 7-5-3 (Shichi – Go – San)

A day to celebrate the growth of children three, five and seven years of age. It depends on the area, but usually three and seven-year-old girls, and 5-year-old boys celebrate on this day. Children wear Kimono, hakama, or dress up and visit shrines and take pictures at portrait studios. After the ceremony, children get “chitoseame candy”, a long stick-like candy that represents longevity. Shichi- go -San is supposed to be celebrated on the 15th, but many families will celebrate sometime on a November weekend.  You can read more about 7-5-3 here!
A festival day for children three, five and seven years of age

Thursday, November 1st,  Tuesday, November 13th, Sunday, November 25th: Tori no ichi festival

The Tori no ichi festival is mainly held in the Kanto area and is held to celebrate good health and wish for the good fortune in the coming new year. There will be many vendors at the shrine. There you can buy beautiful ‘kumade’, decorated rakes that are used as bringing good fortune for your home or your business. The most famous festival is the one at Ohtori Shrine in Asakusa (Tokyo).
Torino-ichi festival

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