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February Banners

Explanations are below the banners...

Source code for linking to yamasa.org


  <a href="http://www.yamasa.org">
  <img src="http://www.yamasa.org/acjs/images/arch-col.jpg"
  hspace=5 vspace=5 align=right border=0 height=100 width=200 
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Please note that if you use the source code above the monthly banner will be updated automatically. No work required by you...

Each of the February banners were contributed by Roger Fung, a student in the AIJP from Hong Kong.

Yuki Matsuri
200 x 73 pixels, 5072 bytes.

Kenkoku Kinenbi
200 x 73 pixels, 4649 bytes.

Valentines
200 x 73 pixels, 4888 bytes.

Yuki Matsuri
200 x 100 pixels, 6115 bytes.

Kenkoku Kinenbi
200 x 100 pixels, 5901 bytes.

Valentines
200 x 100 pixels, 7192 bytes.


Setsubun

February
On either the 3rd or 4th of February, Setsubun, an event in which many households participate in a bean-throwing ceremony (mame-maki). A wooden measuring cup-like container, known as a 'masu' is filled with roasted soya-beans. Whilst shouting 'Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!' ('Out with the goblins and in with Fortune!'), these beans are then thrown around the rooms of a household.

According to the tradtional Japanese calendar, this mame-maki began as a New Year ceremony to drive out evil spirits and misforfune and to pray for the family's well-being all year round.


Yuki Matsuri - Snow Festival

February
One of Japan's largest festivals, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Hokkaido from around the 5th to the 11th of February every year. Hundreds of snow sculptures, ranging exhibited in several locations around the city. Some 8000 five-ton truckloads worth of snow is collected from local neighbourhoods and are used for the sculptures.

This festival began in 1950, when six secondary and high schools created sculptures at Odori Park, a park which runs through the center of Sapporo City. Far exceeding expectations over 50,000 people went to see the works. Ever since then the festival has become an annual event. Now a fully international event, the festival attracts over 2 million visitors every year.


Kenkoku-kinenbi - National Foundation Day

February
The 11th of February is National Foundation Day, a national holiday commemorating the nation's founding and to foster the Japanese people's love for the nation.

Japan switched from the Lunar calendar to the Gregorian calendar in January 1873. According to the Nihon Shoki (The Chronicles of Japan) During this time the day of the enthronement of Japan's first emperor, Emperor Jinmu was made a national holiday known as Kigen-setsu.

Before World War 2 government offices and schools throught the nation celebrated grandly on Kigen-setsu. However, after the war, the holiday was abolished for several reasons. As a result of many voices lamenting its passing, the holiday was reinstated in 1966.


Valentine's Day

February
Compared to the majority of the rest of the world, Valentine's Day (14th of February) in Japan is a slightly different matter. Instead of males, females do the giving of gifts and chocolates. This unique custom seems to have originated in a campaign that a Japanese chololate manufacturer started in 1958. They promoted this day as "the day women confess their love to a man with a gift of chocolate." Heart-shaped chocolates were sold at a department store in Tokyo. Despite only having sold five, this "Valentine Sale" became more and more popular with each passing year. Ever since the custom of females sending chocolates to males gradually took root.

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