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Harvest Festival, a global tradition


Since the beginning of September here in South Osaka the noise of the bells and the drums has been getting louder every night as the locals practise and prepare for the local だんじり、the most famous of which is the Kishiwada version.

だんじり 祭り 大阪 

This festival originated when farmers rushed to the local temple with some of their freshly harvested rice to say “thanks’ to the gods. These days participants wear special clothes which tell you which area of town they are from and they have special chants which the shout as the run around the streets pulling huge wooden danjiri floats. Night time is particularly spectacular!

だんじり 鳳 カルチャー 

It’s interesting how this kind of festival exists throughout the different cultures of the world. In the UK it is called Harvest Festival and traditionally local churches were decorated with freshly baked bread – using the first wheat crop – and other fresh produce including fruit and vegetables. In North America, famously, Thanksgiving is one of the most important dates in the calendar when families get together to say “thank you” for the successful harvest.

Do you have any experience of any of these festivals? Why not share your stories with us if you do …