Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tops Tuesdays: Dondoyaki

On the weekend nearest January 15th, the people of Japan like to gather around bonfires in rural areas to burn their New Year's decorations (usually constructed of reads, paper and fruit) in a kind of religious sacrifice to welcome in the New Year. This custom is called 'Dondoyaki' and daruma dolls are usually sacrificed to the flames simultaneously as symbols of endurance and luck. Attendees and also permitted to make wishes at the bonfire and partake of amazaki (a kind of sake) and mochi (chewy rice cakes). This ritual marks the end of all New Years celebrations.

This is a picture of the bonfire setup the day before the burning. The red decorations are daruma dolls. My local township set up several of these bonfires along the nearby river. 

Wishing you a happy and productive 2013!

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