Daruma Festival

January 27, 2016

The Daruma doll, also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man, vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, by some, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. At the end of the year, all the Darumas are brought back to the temple they were purchased from for a traditional burning ceremony, usually right after New Year's Day.  At these events, people bring the Daruma figures they had used that year to the temple. After expressing gratitude to them, they turn it over to the temple and buy new ones for the next year. All of the old Daruma figures are burnt together in the temple. After a solemn display of the monks' entry, reading of the sutras and blowing of horns, the tens of thousands of figurines are then set aflame.

 

 

 

 

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