Finally, Japanese long New Year Holiday is over. Hope everyone had a great time.

Dondo-Yaki or Sagicho is a fire festival usually held on January 15th marking the end of New year’s celebrations.

People gather New Year’s ornaments of the neighborhood and burn them in a big bonfire.

Spirits of the new year are supposed to go home with the smoke of this fire.

Wishing for good health and success in business in the new year with a bonfire flaming up, smoke soaring up high into the sky, and the sound of bamboo cracking

Aside from the used New Year’s ornaments, mikans, mochi and Japanese dumplings (dango) are also roasted on a stick over the Dondo Yaki bonfire. Traditionally this is related to the Kagami Mochi decoration which originally symbolised longevity.

There are also a variety of tales passed down related to Dondo-Yaki: you will grow younger if you warm yourself at the fire of Dondo-Yaki, your handwriting skill will improve and you will grow wiser if your Kakizome, the first calligraphy writing of the year, burns and soars up high into the sky, you will stay healthy without catching a cold if you eat Mochi or rice cake and mandarin oranges grilled in the embers, crops will grow well if you scatter the ash from the fire onto the fields. People get together to watch the swaying fire while keeping their own wishes in mind.

You will find Dondo-Yaki event at temples or shrines in your neighborhood especially in country side.

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