January 19, 2008

Oyama Dairi Park, Tamasakai (January 19th)


Frozen pond.
氷が張った池。

Today we went to see if we could find any birds at Oyama Dairi Park near Tama-sakai sta. on Keio line. We couldn't find many birds today, but we happened to see the seasonal event held there. The event is called "Dondo Yaki", which is one of the traditional ceremony around January 15th in Japan. People make a huge pile with bamboos, older talismans, Kadomatsu (New Year's Day ornaments), children's calligraphy, etc. and cast fire on it and wish their good luck and health. And there is also a custom that they bake some rice cakes with the fire of that bonfire and eat them wishing their good health. There were lots of people participating in this event today and they made a long line to get the bamboo sticks with two little rice cake balls on the top. We were almost giving up first, but actually they prepared lots and lots of those sticks, so we could get one for each.

京王線多摩境駅より小山内裏公園へ野鳥を探しに出かけてきました。これといった野鳥は見つけられなかったのですが、どんど焼きを見ることができました。


People bring their own things to put onto the pile for "Dondo Yaki".
焼く前の姿。


Lots of rice cake balls called "Mayu Dama" (Silk cocoon ball).
繭玉がいっぱい。


Kids helping to cast the fire.
火を放つ子供たち。


In a few seconds after setting the fire. It was so quick.
一瞬にしてこんなことに…群集はちょっとしたパニックに。


The fire burnt some lawn on the ground, too.
火の手は地面の芝生にも拡大。


離れていても熱くて、煙たいです。


Burning the "Mayu Dama". We had to fight with the smoke.
いよいよ繭玉を焼くことに…煙との戦い。

1 comment:

jannx said...

Interesting. I didn't know about "Dondo Yaki" until I just read your blog, and I've lived in Japan for about 6 years.