The first day of spring

節分万灯篭(setubun-mantoro)------節分means time when seasons change and especially the day before the beginning of spring. 万灯篭means many lanterns.
This event has been holding from about eight hundreds years ago. About 3000 lanterns are lit at Kasuga-Grand-Shrine on the nights of 節分(setubun, on February 3rd) and お盆(obon, on August,14th and 15th).

From old days , offering light for divine has the same meaning to pray with offerings. We devote, moving our cordiality to light,I heard.

Kasuga-Grand-Shrine enshrine the Davine of Fujiwara clan originally. This event was started by donation of lanterns from Fujiwara-clan in Heian period of 8~9century.

There are a lot of stone-lanterns in the precinct.


Each of the patterns made by the metal outside lanterns is different because many people devoted their own original ones. There are many lanterns decorated with its heraldry or has the  name of contributors with kanji character.
This lantern was devoted by 直江兼続(he is a famous samurai in 16-17century and his armor helmet has the big character "love (愛)" in front of it.)He devoted this by his daughter's name 松。

Many stone lanterns to the approach to the shrine were lit on the night .

The next day of this event is the first day of Spring,according to the calendar. But it's pretty cold today.


Birds came in our winter garden. My husband hung a can put fruits fragment from the branch at the near window of the dining room. So we can enjoy their figures through the window,having meals.

A white -eye are eating a persimmon that a bulbul dropped.

I am surprised his appetite. They come to here many times a day and eat greedily and drop many food. They got here as their territory.

I don't know this bird's name. It's too yellow for a sparrow.

This bird's favorite is  banana, I wonder. But this is too small for banana.

Other four kinds of birds come but their motion is too fast to take photo for me.

                                         Thank you for visiting, Dear  friends!

19 件のコメント:

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan さんのコメント...

Brilliant and beautiful lanterns and captivating birds !

cosmos さんのコメント...



Giga さんのコメント...

Wspaniałe przywitanie pierwszego dnia wiosny. Wspaniała tradycja. Ptaszki śliczne odwiedziły Cię w tym dniu. Pozdrawiam.
Great welcome the first day of spring. Great tradition. Beautiful birds visited you on this day. Yours.

Tomoko さんのコメント...


Forest Dream Weaver さんのコメント...

Sarah,your photos of the lanterns are amazing.What a beautiful light show,I really like the stone lanterns!Birds are so interesting to watch especially when they come close in cold weather.
Thank you for sharing this.....

Have a lovely day,

Our photos さんのコメント...

Beautiful lanterns and birds photos!

stardust さんのコメント...


Magia da Inês さんのコメント...

°º♫♬° ·.
Harmonia entre tradição e modernidade.
As lanternas encantam a noite.
Amo pássaros, também deixo frutas para eles no meu jardim.





Akanksha Jain さんのコメント...

Brilliant clicks. Keep sharing ;:)

Arti さんのコメント...

Such beautiful bird captures, I love the idea of keeping their fruit bowl close to the window so that you can see it while having your meals. Watching birds is relaxing. And the glow of the lanterns, it's so surreal, I love the tranquility they transmit especially in the dark of the night. Wish you a lovely weekend, dear Sarah. I hope your spring starts soon.

Minoru Saito さんのコメント...


sharon さんのコメント...

what marvelous lanterns..wonderful shots

NatureFootstep さんのコメント...

You have a great blog and I love what I see.
It seems to me you are in Japan? My grandaughter is in Japan for studies for a year. :)

sarah さんのコメント...

To Nature Footstep,
Indeed, I am a Japanese and living in Nara city. I hope your granddaughter's studing in Japan do well.
Thank you for comment.

orchid Miyako さんのコメント...

Dearest Sarah-san;
OMG; what great pics of the festival and explanation! I wondered if I've heard this "節分万灯篭" p;) Thank you very much for sharing with us♡♡♡

And your pictures of birds are SO great and beautiful(^_^)v I wish I could take pics of birds like yours someday.

Lots of Love and Hugs from Yamaguchi, xoxo Miyako*

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...




Magia da Inês さんのコメント...


✿彡 ♫°Bom fim de semana!
°•.¸♫♬° ·.Brasil

Birgitta さんのコメント...

Wonderful photos! Love the lanterns and the bird photos are great!
Have a lovely weekend you too!

Nippon Nin さんのコメント...



Thank you for visiting my blog. Your photographs are amazing!