Oshougatsu Cultural Festival 2018 in Ha Noi
Update: Jan 22, 2018
The Japanese Cultural Festival Oshougatsu 2018 has been held at Ha Noi University of Science and Technology. Oshougatsu is the Japanese traditional New Year festival.

Oshougatsu Festival 2017 (Photo: Internet)

The festival is annually organized in Viet Nam, aiming to reproduce the Japanese New Year and also to strengthen the solidarity and friendship between Viet Nam and Japan.

Yosakoi is a high energy traditional Japanese dance performed with wooden clappers called Naruko. Yosakoi was part of the Oshougatsu Cultural Festival. 

Dieu An, a student of Ha Noi University of Industry, who was performing Yosakoi said, “Yosakoi is a unique style of dance that originated in Japan and is performed at festivals and events. We have practiced and performed Yosakoi dance here in Viet Nam. I am very glad of the chance to perform at this event.”

The Japanese New Year called ‘Oshougatsu’ represents a significant and meaningful time of cleansing and renewal, of being with family, taking stock of the year gone by and of contemplating the year to come. 

The Japanese Cultural Oshougatsu Festival is a non-profit event hosted by Japanese language club HEDSPI Nichibu. 

Lai Van Hai, representative of the organizing board said, “This is the  6th Oshougatsu Festival hosted by the Japanese language club HEDSPI Nichibu at Ha Noi University of Science and Technology as the cultural festival. Earlier, Oshougatsu was held by the Japanese language club but on a smaller scale.”

The program was decorated with the largest Kadomatsu tree in Viet Nam; along with 10,000 cherry blossoms, 5,000 wisteria flowers and a 3D-decorated space for participants to take photos.

Entering to the festival, participants had the chance to explore the unique cultural features of Japan’s Oshougatsu festival through customs, dishes and traditional games such as Yosakoi dance, Japanese calligraphy, Kendama (Japanese toy consisting of a hammer-shaped handle connected by a string to a ball), New Year omikuji (fortune telling), and Yukata wearing (Japan’s traditional costume). 

Lai Van Hai said, “Different from the last Oshougatsu festival, this year’s did not only feature the season of spring but also the other seasons of the year. With each period we have different cultural actives. At the festival, people also had chance to join hands to make some traditional craft products from Japan.”

The Oshougatsu festival held in Ha Noi’s University of Science and Technology attracted thousands of Vietnamese as well as Japanese people. 

Shunto Adachi, a Japanese student, who is living and studying in Viet Nam, said, “I was introduced to this festival by one of my Vietnamese friends. Being Japanese, I really want to join and help my Vietnamese friends in organizing events such as this one. I am very proud and happy to see a traditional Japanese festival held in Viet Nam.”