How to 祭り


I spent the long weekend up in Nishiaizu taking part in the 野沢祭礼 – Nozawa Festival of Thanks, I guess. (As one elementary school teacher put it, “Thanks everyone very, very much.”) One of the new JETs asked what the name of the festival was, and no one seemed to know, but they collectively decided on 野沢祭礼, Nozawa being the area of town. It’s got something to do with the approaching fall harvest. One last festival before winter begins to tighten its grip.

We carried a mikoshi, which is a kind of portable shrine, I think. Most of the ones in town have a barrel of nihonshu on them. Unsure if they are full. They sure feel full.

Here’s the vocab you need to know:

担ぐ – かつぐ – to carry (a mikoshi)

わしょい! – the chant when moving forward with the mikoshi, kind of like a “heave ho” type noise

もめ! – imperative form of もむ, which means to toss about/up and down, used when rapidly lifting/throwing the mikoshi up and down (you can see this action in the beginning of the How to Japanese videos)

御台 – おんだい – not sure about the kanji, but the ondai are the two wooden supporters that hold up the mikoshi when everyone takes a break

Right on the effin shoulder.