7 Japanese Festivals You Should Not Miss

It is a known fact that the Japanese culture is a really colorful one. Every aspect of the culture is attention grabbing and unique. Here the people call the festivals masturi and their majority is based on cultural and religious beliefs.

1. New Year’s Eve

You may have heard that New Year’s Eve is an important event in the Japanese culture. In Kyoto people kindle a sacred fire at the Yakusa temple. According to the belief, happiness and joy will be brought to the people who cook the first dish of the year on the cinders of the sacred fire. Some special foods, like OsechiRyouri, are prepared and sold in the entire country.

2. Seijin No Hi

The festival is known for being one of the most ancient ones of the Japanese culture. It starts after the New Year’s Eve celebrations are over – on January 8. According to the tradition, the people whose daughters just turned 18, buy them new kimonos and send them to
pray for success, health and money. After this the girls are sent to tutors who show them how to behave.

3. Setsubun

The festival is celebrated at the beginning of February that marks the beginning of spring according to the old Japanese belief. These are some special activities performed during this period, including bean throwing, makimaki and shouting, not to mention the fire festivals and demon chase that take place in Kyoto.

4. HinaMatsuri

This is another festival that has been celebrated for centuries in the country. The festival takes place on 3rd March and it is also known as the Doll festival. The main point of the festival is to give all girls a doll. It is believed that the evil spirits around the girls will be moved into the dolls. After this, the girls throw the dolls into the river, thus escaping the evil spirits.

5. Birth of Buddha

8th of April is known as the day that the spiritual leader was born and it is celebrated all over the country. Every Buddhist temple holds a ceremony during which tea is poured on a statue representing the baby Buddha that is on a flower-covered table. The ceremony also got the name of baptism ceremony.

6. Sakura Matsuri

Japan is known as the land of cherry blossoms, and this is why it is a must to have a festival celebrating the cherry blossoms. It is no wonder that this is the happiest festival of all in the country. Just as the Setsubun festival, this one is also meant to celebrate the beginning of spring.

7. Tanabata Matsuri

This may be one of the most important celebrations. It is held on July 7 and people pray to the stars. The young people put the wishes that they have on a piece of paper and they place them on bamboos placed in a special garden.

In Japan, there are a lot of festivals that are worth to be seen.


  1. One not on your list that is a must see is the Yosakoi matsuri. This is a Japanese dance festival that is held at the beginning of summer. Every where holds their own Yosakoi matsuri on different dates but always from around June to July.

    It doubles up as a competition and the finals are televised.

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