“Festivals in Japan” - Demonstrations and Displays by Members
Location: University of MA – Waltham Center, 240 Beaver St., Walthan MA
Date: February 20, 2007
Boston Chapter members explained several festivals and demonstrated their flowers.

At the February 20, 2007 meeting, Boston Chapter members enjoyed seeing various artifacts and decorations, which have been used for the various seasonal festivals, Sekku, and holidays celebrated in Japan. Several members described their displays and demonstrated suitable flower creations for these festivals. They are listed as follows:

1. New Year, Oshogatsu
Joanne Caccavale made a Kadomatsu, pine gate arrangement using fresh cut bamboo, pine, and winterberries in a rope and kindling wood bucket. Keiko Thayer explained ritual decoration, Kagami-mochi, which symbolizes a tool to reflect one’s past and go on to next. Linda Clarke showed decorative Hagoita, which is used in a game called hanetsuki typically played by girls in the New Year.

2. Setsubun
It is the day before the beginning of the season. Mary Bohnet from New York made a spring arrangement using pink pussy willow and tulips.

3. Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri), Momo-no-Sekku
Mabel Nevins talked about the history of Doll festival, which began during the Heian period in 9th century, while
Fumiko Masubuchi was making an arrangement next to her hina ningyo display using plum blossoms, forsythia, and solidaster. Misako Inada explained how the dolls are normally arranged in tiers according to hierarchy of the court.

4. Boy’s Day (Children’s Day), Tango or Shobu-no-Sekku
Tomoko Tanaka talked about the Boy’s Day, which has been observed for over a thousand years and explained the significance of the samurai helmet, flying carp and Shobu (Japanese iris). She made an arrangement using iris, mimosa, and pussy willow beside her kabuto (helmet) display.

The bamboo with many kinds of paper decorations on its branches was displayed. Kaye Vosburgh made an arrangement with curly willow, mums, larkspur, and baby’s breath.

6. Bon festival
Tomoko Tanaka talked about this Japanese Buddhist observance honoring the spirits of ancestors, which is one of the most important traditions for Japanese people. Lanterns are displayed and she explained about lanterns and how they are used in this festival.

7. “7-5-3” Festival (Schichigosan)
Merle Schlesinger gave a brief description of the Festival for seven-year-old girls, five-year-old boys, and three-year-old girls

Many members displayed festival arrangements. They are Sandra Ashley, Marcia Connors, Halani Moss, Gilbert Moore, Claire Benfatto, Merle Schlesinger, Kathy Marble, Linda Clarke, Mabel Nevins, and Carolyn Cox-Flanagan.