Slice of Life: Fall School Events

In my last post, I neglected to tell you that Japan also has a Thanksgiving Day of sorts, but it’s quite different from ours – Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day, which was on Friday, November 23 this year. Many businesses and schools were off for the day (not ours, though!) since it is a national holiday. Many students were excited to have a 3 day weekend and I’m sure many employees were excited as well. Their holiday is a time to recognize labor & production and thanking one another. Wikipedia said that it’s not unusual for young grade school students to create drawings for the holiday & give them as gifts to the local police boxes (small police stations).

Anyway . . .  a couple of months ago, we had the Sports Festivals happening, mostly in September. Well, this time around it is the Music & Dance Festivals happening at our kindergartens…or, rather put on by our kindergartens – they aren’t held at the schools, but at a city building available for events.

Last week was Joe’s school & next week will be my school’s turn. We went to Joe’s school’s event last Sunday, and found it being held in a large auditorium in central Takayama. Along the way inside, they had several posters with photos of the kids doing their smaller events each month at school. They had been preparing for this event for the past few weeks (or longer??), and it consisted of . . . you guessed it – music and dancing! There was some sort of small play with Pinnochio and maybe Jack & the Beanstalk, and there were students in each of the 3 kindergarten grade levels doing a sort of dance routine with fluffy pom-poms and marching drums and these funny mini-piano devices that they blow into to make the sound – really unusual, but all the students had one! Then at the end, they sang a sort of birthday song, and all of a sudden 2 giant cakes made of paper were reeled out an a big banner came down that said ‘happy birthday’ on it in english, and there were balloons and giant streamers and a lot of excitement, and then, it was over! The whole event went on for 3.5 hours! Maybe a little too long, if you ask me! Oh, and the adults played some kind of bingo in between events, but I have no idea who won even though several people shouted “BINGO!” and waived their cards around… I also have no idea where they got the bingo cards. We really need to keep studying! 😀

Japan Music & Dance Festival

Music & Dance Festival November 2012

Sorry this picture is such bad quality, but this was take on my phone from way back in the big auditorium! Maybe I will have a better picture next week after my kindergarten’s event!