Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jizo Bon Festival

I participated in a neighborhood "Jizo Bon Festival" in Yasaka Pagoda last week. Jizo Bon festivals are very unique neighborhood block parties in Kyoto.  Everyone in the neighborhood get together for the day to pray for the health and happiness of children. (Jizo is a gardian for children.)

There were lots of events scheduled for the children all day, and one of them was "Juzu Mawashi (turning the rosary)."  All of us sit in a large circle and pass around a very long string of prayer beads (for 108 times!) to the beat of a gong by the priest.

Bento lunch boxes and drinks were served to everyone, and children received lots of goodies.  After lunch, children enjoyed the spray of open fire hydrants!  

A very traditional Japanese game called "Suika-wari" was also fun.

Jizo Bon is a great tradition which reminds children that they are very much loved and protected.

No comments: