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Hiratsuka Calendar of Events

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Hear the seasons calling.
12 Months in Hiratsuka.

From January to December, citizens and visitors alike can enjoy a variety of annual events.

|Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec |


January

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Pay the first visit of the year to Hiratsuka's Hachimangu shrine

Long-distance relay race in Hiratsuka, with neighborhoods competing in several different age groups.

Sakitori Shrine's schoolwork festival (for good luck on important tests)

The "Coming of Age" ceremony (if turning 20yrs old this year, dress up and celebrate becoming an adult by going to the shrines)

Mishima shrine's EBISU festival (a guardian of fishing)

Wild ducks come to the Kaname (local name "Hanamizu" or flower-river) river

On the 14th, traditional custom to remove all New Years' decorations and bring to the shrine to burn and bake a rice cake which is said to be good for your health


February

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A frozen Kirifuri waterfall

An ancient plum tree blossoms on the grounds of Shogan Temple

Eve of the beginning of spring (the Bean-throwing ceremony)


March

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Renaissance festival- craftworks are sold downtown, marking the end of winter and the beginning of activity (spring)

Boys and Girls marathon race meet (Elementary & Jr. HS students)

A mass for the needle at Reizan Temple/Awashima shrine in Tokyo (bring your broken needles to the shrine, pray thanks to the needle god for good service in the last year)


April

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Kisu fishing season begins

Green Festival (Natl. holiday) - Tree planting campaign-nationwide, recieve a free tree from the city to plant

Sakura Cherry Blossoms at Shonan-daira and Atago-yama (delicate and beautiful!)

Mountain sakura cherry blossoms around Shyogan temple and Kirifuri waterfall

A Yamato Takeru dance at Sakitori shrine. (mythical character Yamato Takeru is the founder of Japan)


May

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Children's Festival - each neighborhood plans different events for children: Taiko drum festival, sports festival, hiking, or a fishpull (dragging in a netful of lunch, hand-over-hand, from the ocean)

Koinoburi colorful Carp kites fly at individual houses for their children

Family-crest kite flying (big kites) in Yokouchi

Snowy Herons congregate near Kamikawa bridge in Tamura

Kokufu Matsuri / Nisshya Junkou five shrines hold a joint festival once a year

Hamahirugawa flowers grow in crowds at Hiratsuka beach


June

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O-kinkei-Kiku (Chrysanthemum var.) flowers grow in the sand dunes at Hiratsuka beach

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers bloom in Yawata-hama park near city hall.

Tanabata beauty contest - "Miss Star Festival"

Rose City Hiratsuka - roses from Hiratsuka on sale...


July

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Outdoor swimming pools open

Tanabata festival

Ceremony of shooting an arrow at Yawata (Hachimangu) shrine

Hanabi (fireworks display) at Hiratsuka beach, last friday of the month -15,000 pieces

Hoozuki (orange-colored blossom) festival at Sanada shrine

Beach Carnival festival (7/20-8/31) intl. beach volleyball, etc.

Mishima shrine ceremony, carrying the Mikoshi (portable shrine) to the sea for a purification dip

Shimin (citizen's) plaza night market, where citizens can bring garage-sale type items to sell


August

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Obon festivals - neighborhood festivals, everyone goes back to their hometown to dance!

48,000 days of the Kaname Kannon

A Fire-Wood Noh (classical Japanese dance around a fire) at Hiratsuka Yawata shrine

Running of the Peace Lanterns in the Kaname river (bamboo/paper/candle floats down the river to symbolize the end of WWII)

Kasuga shrine / Hiratsuka Yawata shrine (biennial) carrying the mikoshi (portable shrine) to the sea for purification


September

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Haze fishing competition at Shonan-Itako

Covered torch (with names on the paper) ceremony at Hiratsuka Yawata shrine

The Ceremony of Mugiburumai (serve sake and food to cheer up the hardworking carriers of the portable shrine, and return the mikoshi to Sakitori shrine (noth, near the Sagami river)

Hiratsuka Citizens general (centralized) athletic competition


October

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Hiratsuka citizen market

Sports Day - citizen recreation at local/neighborhood-sponsored areas; Natl. holiday

On the 10th night following the full moon, hold meetings to pray to Buddha at Kaiho temple


November

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The Industrial Festival - products of Hiratsuka and sister-cities

Display of Kiku (Chrysanthemum) flowers, Shimin (citizens) center, competition

The Bird day market (tori-no ichi), sales of lucky decorations etc. at Owashi shrine

Local traditional entertainment festival held at Chuo-kominkan (Central community center), (bunraku storytelling, puppet shows, etc

Health Festival - held at Sogo Koen (main park) to check blood pressure free, exercise, etc.

Hiratsuka Welfare Event - small festival put on by the City Hall Welfare section


December

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Year-end market - New Years decorations/goods go on sale

Star-Light festival - Christmas light decorations go up downtown

New Years Eve - all your housework/major cleaning done so you can start off the new year right? Now it is time to go to the temples and help ring the bell 108 times (for the 108 sins as described by Buddha), eat long soba noodles (for long life, of course) etc.


C. 1996, Kevin Sullivan
Base URL: http:/www2.gol.com/users/csr-kts/calendar.html
Updated Aug. 25, 1996.