Tag: TraditionsView All Tags
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.
· Holidays in New York: Heavy Breathing on New Year's Eve [Jaunted]
· Sexy Japanese Cartoons Coming To Singapore [Jaunted]
· Japan Travel coverage [Jaunted]
The Japanese like to celebrate the coming of the new year, or oshogatsu, by visiting a temple to pray--choose one of the big Tokyo temples like the Meiji Shrine and you'll be stuck in a large but very interesting crowd.
All over Tokyo, you'll also experience the tradition of the "watch night bell", where a bell is rung 108 times, apparently because that will get rid of the 108 worldly desires. (Don't ask us for a list.) All of that makes for a noisy but quite spectacular New Year's Eve, as long as you don't overdo the sake.
Wedings / Traditions / Adventure Travel / Vegas / → All Tags
Looks like it's time to play Taps instead of the Wedding March in Las Vegas. As the Wall Street Journal reports today, Vegas will no longer be offering round the clock wedding services, starting tomorrow. Last call will now be midnight; the Marriage Bureau hopes to save $200,000 a year with the change in operating hours.
They were only offering this service on the weekends before the change, but we do find it sad that this Vegas tradition is going the way of the Dodo. Sure, it will reduce the number of horribly misconceived marriages, but the whole point of Vegas is horribly misconceived things--all you need to do is walk down the Strip to figure that out. All-night weddings, we bid you a fond adieu.
[Image via My Daily Struggle/Flickr]
· No More OVernight I Do's [WSJ]
Prague / Easter / Traditions / Travel Writing / → All Tags
We were surprised to see that there weren't any articles today decrying the brutal traditions of Czech Easter Monday. When Prague was a little better fresher as a place for Americans to expatriate, the anti-Velikonoce editorial was a popular annual event, usually in right thinking newspapers like the Wall Street Journal.
For those who don't know, every year on Easter Monday, Czech men hit women on the butt with a stick and are rewarded with alcohol. It's a little more complex than that; the boys cut down a young willow branch, and braid it into a stick called a pomlazka. Then they switch girls on the backside with it, roaming the local village all Easter Monday morning. There's a poem they must recite to accompany the switching, which is all about making the ladies more fertile in the coming year, and some Czech women think it's bad luck if they are not hit with the pomlazka. When the poem is over, the boys get candy or a shot of booze from the girls as a reward.
Yeah, it's a little backwards; domestic violence is only a tradition in the U.S. on Super Bowl Sunday. Still, it's way more fun than filing your taxes was over the weekend.
· Easter in the CR [Radio CZ]