Japanese Iris Festival and Baronial Equestrian Champs

In a little less than 6 months the Barony will host its second Japanese Iris Festival. “What is that?” you may ask. In Japan it is also called Tango no Sekku or Ayame no hi and was one of the five festival held at the Japanese imperial court. Originally it was on the fifth day of the fifth month or moon in the Chinese lunar calendar. When Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar the date was set to May 5th. Our festival is in early June due to the busy May calendar. Other countries in Asia have a similar festival on the same day. The festival marks the beginning of summer rainy season. Formerly the festival was known as Boys’ Day and the corresponding Girls’ Day was March 3th. After World War II, the two holidays were combined to be Children’s Day and was renamed to Kodomo no Hi. You will typically see carp-shaped banner displayed, one for each child. Treats that are traditional on this day are rice cakes called mochi rapped in oak leaves called kashiwa. The kashiwa-mochi are filled with red bean paste. Another traditional treat is chimaki, which is a sweet rice paste wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf.

Our festival will include demonstrations and classes of various Japanese arts and skills. The demonstrations and classes include taiko drumming, shibori make and take gift cloths, kumihimo, and tea ceremony. All are welcome to come watch and learn. If you want to wear traditional Japanese kosode with an obi, or hakama and kosode there will be in-person supervised sewing workshops to help you sew your own. There will be pre-packaged bento boxes that can be purchased at event preregistration.

The traditional festival name Tango no Sekku has meaning in Japanese. Tan means beginning and go is the simified character for horse. Horse is the Chinese zodiac sign for the fifth month. Sekku means festival. So the basic translation would be first day of horse month festival. But in Japanese go is the word for five so the double meaning of go means it’s the fifth day of the horse month. Well then, horses are the perfect addition to the Iris festival. We will be holding a number of games for the equestrians and the horses. There will be Baronial Equestrian Champs. But we will have more game than just the champs. These are great fun to watch.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 10th, from 9 am to 7 pm at the Horse Arena at Bradys Run Park, 121 Bradys Run Road, Beaver Falls, PA, 15010. The autocrat for this event is the Honorable Lady Hara Kikumatsu, mka Sharon Booth, 1105 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. sbooth@sbooth.net, 412-441-1607. This is a land-line with answering machine. Please leave a message. No calls after 9pm.

Event cost:
Adult Event Registration $15
Adult Member Registration $10
Youth 17 and under are free
Bento box lunch $5

There are a limited number of prepared bento boxes. Preregister to ensure you get a lunch box. Send email to the bento box lunch lady, the Honorable Elss of Augsburg, elss.of.augsburg@gmail.com with dietary restrictions, allergies, or if you want vegetarian or vegan box.

To preregister for the event and to purchase a bento box lunch, send a check payable to SCA PA, Inc. – BMDL, to the head trollner, Lady Forveleth Dunde: Miranda Gavrin, 326 Lincoln Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106.

For folks who would like to come to in-person sewing, the sessions will be on the following Saturdays in February: 11th, 18th, and 25th. There is limited space at my house, so please contact me at sewing@debatablelands.org if you want to attend. You will need to have fabric washed, pressed, and cut before you arrive so you can just pin, sew, and press while there. I can advise on about fabric choices, and recommended amounts, as well as cutting instructions.

You will need to be masked in the house. However, I will arrange for air filters in a heated garage so there is a space where food and drink are allowed. In addition, there will be sewing at the March barony meeting on Sunday March 5th. There will be more information about this meeting posted in the blog.