Snow Festival

Well, up here in the frozen lands known in my household as Hoth (in reality and to normal people, Fargo, North Dakota), we’ve had our first snow.  Snows.  Plural.  It’s been a rough few days in the weather department, and the sudden dump of frozen moisture coupled with massive winds have created a big fat blizzard that’s keeping my husband and I from getting to my family for Thanksgiving.

Thankfully, we’ve postponed the big meal, so the red velvet cheesecake I’m baking won’t be a waste. ^.^

But since there’s so much out there, I thought I’d try to put a bit of a happier spin on things.  In Japan, there are probably thousands of different festivals over the year across the country.  I stumbled upon a website featuring the Kamakura Snow Festival in Yokote City of the Akita Prefecture.

This festival has been celebrated for more than 400 years in Yokote.  The festival is meant to honor Shinto deities, especially the Water gods.  People build mounded rooms out of snow called kamakura and serve sweets and a fermented rice brew to passerby who are encouraged to come in and chat.  Countless miniature kamakura are built up and lit with candles to provide offerings of sake and rice cakes to the gods.  It is known as a very striking and romantic scene after the sun sets with hundreds upon hundreds glowing snow mounds lining the streets.

Shibuya426.com has a number of very informative and beautiful image heavy posts on Japan, and one of them explores the February 2010 Kamakura Snow Festival.  I’ve chosen a few of my favorite of the images to include here.  For more, please check out the Original Post!

A small offering to the Shinto gods

Full Sized Kamakura

Many Kamakura lined up in a row

Makes me want to celebrate Kamakura a little early over here in the states! ^.^

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