Monday, January 31, 2011

Events around Deer Park (Feb. 2011)

Around Nara Park:

Feb.1(tue)- March 10(thr) Shika-yose (Deer Herding)

With a sound of horn deer gathers to get feeds. Horn plays the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven.

10:00~10:15 @Tobihino Field (open field near the main approach of Kasuga Grand Shrine)

Feb. 3(thr) Setsubun

Setsubun is a day before a new season, but in general it refers to only one day – the eve of spring. At the turn of seasons evils are believed to come out. On Setsubun beans are scattered through out the country to drive away evils.

@February Hall in Todaiji Temple

14:00 ~ Scattering Beans.

18:00~ Hoshikuyo – a ritual to pray upon one’s guardian stars for peace and happiness of that year. 135 stone lanterns along the way from near Great Buddha Hall to February Hall are lit.

@Tamukeyama Hachiman Shrine (in the precinct of Todaiji Temple)

11:00~ Onda Festival – a ritual to pray for agricultural fertility. In this ritual, rice planting process is performed in Noh style. Afterwards beans are scattered.

@Kofukuji Temple

18:30~ A ritual ceremony to pray for peace and happiness

19:00~ Driving away demons and scattering beans

@Kasuga Grand Shrine

17:30~ Offertory of Bugaku, traditional Japanese court music and dances

18:00~ All 3000 lanterns are lit.

*With donation of 3000yen or more, you can light up a lantern by yourself.

20:30 Gates closed.

@Gangoji Temple

12:00~ Ceremony in the Main Hall

13:00~ Homa Ritual and Ascetic Training (walking over fire)

*You can join the ascetic training of walking over fire if you wish.

15:00~ Scattering Beans

@Daianji Temple

14:00~ Homa Ritual

15:00~ Scattering Beans

*Amazake, sweet low-alcoholic drink, is offered to visitors.

Feb. 8(tue) Special Viewing of Kannon Bodhisattva

10:00~17:00 @ Jiganji Temple (10min walk from Kintetsu Nara Station)

This Kannon Bodhisattva statue is open to the public twice a year. A ceremony is held from 8:00.

Feb. 8(tue)-Feb. 14(mon) Nara Rurie

During Nara Rurie, Todaiji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Grand Shrine are open till 20:30. Pathways connecting these three locations are illuminated by various lanterns ranging from traditional stone lanterns to modern artistic lanterns.

*Light-up and Night Time Opening Hours*

=Light-ups & illumination: 17:30 – 20:30

=Fireworks: around 18:00 (*only on Feb. 8)

=Todaiji Temple: 17:30 – 20:30

March Hall is open. *Great Buddha Hall is not open.

Free live music at near by Ukigumo-enchi Park starting 19:00 on Feb 8.

=Kofukuji Temple: 17:30 – 20:30

Eastern Golden Hall and Kofukuji National Treasure House are open.

Five Storied Pagoda is lit up.

=Kasuga Grand Shrine: 17:30 – 20:30

Main shrine is open. All lanterns are lit. There are about 3000 lanterns.

Free live music at Manyo Botanical Garden starting 19:00 on Feb 9 and 10. Feb 10 is traditional Japanese music. Garden is located along the main approach.

Nara National Museum is also open till 21:00 (*but enter before 20:30).

Feb. 15(tue) Nehan-e

February 15 is the day Sakyamuni Buddha died and entered nirvana or Nehan. Ritual ceremonies are held to commemorate this day.

10:00~ @ Honbo in Kofukuji Temple

*Amazake, sweet low-alcoholic drink, is offered to visitors.

Around Horyuji and Nishino-kyo:

Feb. 1(tue) – 3(thr) Syuni-e

Syuni-e literary means “a ritual ceremony held in February”. On behalf of all the people, monks repent sins to Buddha. Some Syuni-e are held in March following the lunar calendar.

@ Saiendo Hall in Horyuji Temple

(Feb.1&2) 13:00~ / (Feb.3) 17:00~ Syuni-e

(Feb.3) 19:00~ Tsuina-siki

*Tsuina means “driving away evils”. In this ceremony three demon figures are drove out from the Hall.

Feb.5(sat) Sanzo-e

10:00~ @ Sanzoin Hall in Horyuji Temple

A ceremony is held to commemorate Sanzo or Xuanzang, a famous Chinese Buddhist monk. He is also popularly known as one of fictional heroes of “Journey to the West” or “Monkey”.

Feb. 11(fri) Sunakake Festival

@ Hirose Shrine (30min walk or 10min drive from JR Horyuji Station)

This is a festival to pray for agricultural fertility. The highlight of this festival is Sunakake – that is throwing and pouring sands at each other. Visitors are welcome to join in Sunakake. Sand symbolizes rain - harder the sand throwing, greater the rainfall and thus richer the harvest.

11:00~ Ceremoney – rice planting play like ceremoney

13:30~ Offertory of Drum Music

14:00~ Sunakake (done 8 times, each is 5 min long)

Feb. 15(tue) Nehan-e

February 15 is the day Sakyamuni Buddha died and entered nirvana or Nehan. Ritual ceremonies are held to commemorate this day.

@ Raido Hall in Toshodaiji Temple

13:30~@ Daikodo in Horyuji Temple


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