February 20, 2011

Seppu Matsuri (Festival)/雪譜祭り(せっぷまつり)

On February 19, the 27th Seppu Matsuri was held in the Fureai Hiroba (Square) in front of Suzuki Bokushi Memorial Hall near Bokushi Dori (Street) in the Shiozawa area of Minami Uonuma city, in memory of Suzuki Bokushi, who wrote the book Hokuetsu Seppu in the Edo period.

Luckily, it was a sunny day.

About 500 candles were lit.

In the "mochi maki" (rice cake scattering) session, I got a total of 12 mochi!

Note that in mochi maki, round mochi, not rectangular ones, are usually scattered.

I bought four "Hanjuku Cheese" from Aoki Shoten.

A favorite of my son's.


okasan said...

もちの中に何ですか。あずき?半熟チーズはreal dairy cheese ですか。

Hiroyuki said...

okasan: The mochi scattered in a mochi maki event do not contain any filling. "Hanjuku cheese cake" (and "hanjuku cheese" for short) is a relatively new type of cheese cake. It's neither "rare" (unbaked) nor baked cheese cake, but is somewhere in-between.

okasan said...

わかりました。 Thanks for the explanation. I thought the hanjuku chi-zu is a piece of cheese, over here we eat with crackers. 半熟チーズは美味しいそうね。
Do people actually eat the mochi that they caught? The kids or you, must have fun catching them.

Hiroyuki said...

okasan: Yes, hanjuku cheese cake is delicious! You should try some when you come to Japan!

And, yes, we eat them. Mochi maki is a lot of fun, but can suddenly make people act like hyenas...

Kiki said...

"but can suddenly make people act like hyenas..."
a fine natural reaction when a crowd of people gets together for some bargain hunting. The undie truely makes the only difference between stoneage and nowadays. Come visit the carnival in Köln http://www.koelnerkarneval1.de/fastelovend-op-englisch.html
and try to catch some candies or toys!!! You will need lots of ellbowgrease :-).
What will you do with your mochis? Anything special in mind?
I am still collecting recipes for the upcoming Hanami with my friends of the japanese language club.

Hiroyuki said...

kiki: Thanks for the link.
"...since time immemorial"
That's quite impressive!

Before the mochi maki session for adults at 20:40, there were two others for children at 15:00 and 20:25, where not only mochi but also candies were scattered. My daughter and her friend told me they could get none! Separate sessions for adults and children mean that mochi maki is potentially dangerous! You will see how dangerous it can be from this tragic accident:
On January 1, 1956, 124 people were trampled to death in the mochi maki held in Yahiko Shrine in Niigata.

I gave five of the twelve mochi to my daughter's friend, and my wife and children had five with kinako (soybean powder) + sugar and anko (azuki bean paste). The last two went to udon suki last night, and were eaten by my children.

One caution on the mochi you get in a "topping out" (completion of the framework) ceremony:
These mochi should never be "grilled" but boiled in a pot (or heated in a microwave). Superstition has it that if you "grill" ("yaku" (burn) in Japanese) the mochi, the new house will be "burned" in a fire!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you about your hanami!