All Festivals
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Festivals in the Summer

Children's Day

(5 May, every year)

Carp Streamers for Children's DayAlso known as "Kodomo-no-i", this festival is a day for children occurring on the fifth day of the fifth month. Originally referred to as "Boy's Day" ("Girl's Day" is Hina Matsuri), Children’s Day is a national holiday in Japan. Families fly carp-shaped streamers (koinobori) on tall bamboo poles outside the house: the carp is a symbol of strength in Japan. Boys decorate a warrior doll with armour and weapons and everyone feasts on rice cakes (kashiwamochi) filled with sweet red beans and covered up with oak leaves or chimaki (rice cakes wrapped in cogan grass or bamboo leaves).

Ramadan

(27 May 2017 - first day)

Ramadan is the most important of the Muslim festivals.  It occurs during the ninth lunar month and during this time nothing is eaten or drunk between, dawn and dusk.   It was during this month that the prophet Mohamed received his revelation from Allah.

Ramadan ends on the morning after the new moon is seen in the sky. This is the first day of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, which means the breaking of the fast.  During this three day festival Muslims visit both friends and relatives and give gifts and special cards, they also eat special foods in celebration.

Eid al-Fitr

(26 June 2017)

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim celebration that traditionally lasts for three days at the end of Ramadan, which ends on the morning after the new moon is seen in the sky. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim Year and during this time rigid fasting is observed and food and drink is avoided between sunrise and sunset.

During Eid-al-fitr Muslims exchange gifts and cards and pay visits to friends and relatives.

 

Tanabata (Star Festival)

(28 August 2017)

TanabataThe Tanabata Festivals are traditionally held in Japan on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on 7 July of the Gregorian calendar in Hiratsuka and on 6-8 August in Sendai.

A few days before the festival, people traditionally write their wishes or poems on strips of colourful paper. They are hung on the branches of cut bamboo and put out in the garden on the night of the 7th. The coloured paper hung on the bamboo make such a pretty sight that they are sometimes called summer Christmas trees.

This tradition has its origins in a Chinese legend, which says that Kengyu (the star Altair personified as the Cowherd) and Orihime (the star Vega, personified as the Weaving Girl) were separated by Ama-no-gawa (the River of Heaven, or Milky Way). On this night Altair and Vega come together.

 

Please note that we make no guarantees concerning the list of dates provided. We recommend you verify them for yourself before relying on them - and please let us know if you spot any inaccuracies.