Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Festival, or あきまつり for Kindergarteners

I love the Fall Festival, or あきまつり, my daughter's school puts on every year. She goes to a bilingual Japanese-English school here in Michigan now, which is connected to the Japanese immersion preschool she went to for two years. Anyway, at the fall festival, all of the kids get to wear kimono or happi coats and carry around an omikoshi outside, chanting 'wasshoi, wasshoi.' I think that means heave-ho or something like that. An omikoshi is the thing you see in the picture below. It's like a portable Shinto shrine, but the teachers don't exactly delve into the details of what it is. They say, 'Hey kids, let's decorate the omikoshi!! Ok, now let's carry it!' It's lots of fun.