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January 10 2013

Eating roasted mochi at Dondo Yaki - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Dondo Yaki, Matsumoto

In Japan, many religious events, especially the Shinto ones, are ending with a popular party, usually with some specific food. This is by no means a trivialization, everything simply becomes friendlier and more enjoyable… That’s a part of Japan’s charm!

That’s what happens at Dondo Yaki 「どんどやき」, a festival which takes place all over Japan during the first half of January. The event is the ceremonial burning of the last year’s good luck charms (like omamori, Daruma Dolls) and decorations (Shimenawa, Shimekazari or Kadomatsu), burning that signifies the desire to go on and cutting with the past.

And after the charms are burned, mochi rice cakes are cooked on the embers of the fire - it is said that eating them will bring you good luck and protection against illness - and they are delicious too…

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