Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shichi Go San Festival
Every year around November 15th is the Shichi Go San ( 7, 5 ,3) Festival. I think it's typically seven and three year old girls and five and three year old boys that participate. I'd say half and half of the girls were dressed between traditional Japanese clothes and western clothes. I'll try and talk more of the festival throughout the blog.
Etta opening her kimono, very excited

Chloe checking out her kimono
getting dressed

Taking a break to have a little fun on the floor

Etta trying to get her shoes on by herself
photo time!

Etta enjoying dressing up, Chloe unsure of the whole thing
Looking cute!
Not sure why they are jumping up and down, but clearly excited about something.

Our neighbor was nice to take a picture of us all together. Would have turned out better if Chloe wasn't checking out her buggar.

We walked down to our neighborhood jinja (Shinto shrine) with some time to spare, which is unusual for us the past year or so. So we had plenty of time to take pictures.
The occasional sister hug
One of my favorite pictures of Etta
Chloe and Daddy

Turns out the red sash is supposed to go on the inside. Wish someone would have said something sooner. We figure that out after seeing several other three year olds dressed in kimono. However, she still looks cute!

One of the cute Chloe pictures. It was a rough day for her so we didn't get many good pictures of her. Some of you may be wondering why she was dressed up as well. We figured we're moving from Shizuoka before the next Shichi Go San festival an we aren't sure if we'll be in Japan after this. So, to be on the safe side we wanted to have pictures of Chloe dressed up too. Unfortunately she wasn't keen on dressing up and pictures as Etta was.

This was the first 7 year old girl to arrive and she was just too cute. Her parents asked to get pictures of the three of them together. I should have gotten a picture of the back of her obi, it was ornately tied and amazing. This is supposed the first time a 7 year old girl wears an obi.

Chloe went into melt down mode just before the ceremony. Good thing I brought a change of clothes for both of the girls. I quickly changed Chloe and took her to a neighboring park while Eric took Etta into the ceremony. I'm not sure if pictures were allowed, but he took some anyway. I can't explain what happened or what was said since I wasn't there. But, Eric did mention a few things to me so I'll try to interpret.
Eric mentioned that each child placed a branch in a pile. They also clapped twice, bowed, then clapped again before returning to their seat. Not sure what that all meant.
The Shinto priest went to the altar and did a lot of reading of kids' names in a chant. Listen below to the video.

Eric took a video of the chant and it's sort of long. At the beginning you'll hear him say, "Wintabotomu Eriku to Wintabotomu Etta" along with a bunch of other chanting. All I can personally catch is the shichi go san. So, if you happen to watch and understand what he's saying, let me know.
After chanting and mentioning all the neighborhood kids' names, he came around shaking a huge set of bells at each of the kids. Before you know it they are done and getting ready for a group photo. Etta wasn't too interested. She was more excited about the bag of candy she received.
Chloe was off playing while someone took a picture of us together. Etta is holding her century candy (for good luck).happy as can be being the center of attention
Well, both kimonos are wrapped up and ready to be returned. Etta is sad to see them go. However, the socks were purchased and she seems happy to keep them around. Not sure how often they'll get used of course. It was fun doing something so Japanese. I hope we can do this with Chloe next year (if we are still in Japan) or sometime in the future. It would be so neat to get the girls dressed up in full kimono. Of course I wouldn't be the one tying the obi!


Pam said...

Love the pictures, wish it would have taken place when we were there! I need to print them all...

Jen said...

Your girls look SO cute!!! Great pictures.

Tara said...

Cute pictures!!