Have A Scary New Year!
Have you been good this year? American kids get this question from a fat man in a red suit at the mall, but their counterparts in Oga, Japan are accountable to the Namahage demons who run rampant through the town on New Year's Eve.
The Namahage Festival welcomes in the demons--er, dancers dressed as demons in straw skirts with cooking knives and pails--who scare children into their houses. There, while the parents comfort their probably freaked out children, the demons are appeased with rice cakes and sake and bring good luck on the town. Oga's celebration is the most famous, but New Year's Eve Namahage celebrations take place all over Japan... if you dare.
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