Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Festival Of Lights And Edo Game At Candle Light

Diwali has started today. It will be celebrated for five days, and it is an official holiday in 11 countries. It is an opportunity to celebrate the good winning over the evil, and the light dissipating the darkness. For the Indians, it is one of the most important festivals of the year. Since there are also Indian viewers who read my blog, and I spent one wonderful year of my life in India in the recent past, I want to honour this celebration and to wish everybody, from whichever country you may be, lots of light and peace in the heart and mind. Diwali is a short form of Deepavali, "row of lamps" - and it reminded me of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai (hyaku = 100, monogatari = story). It was a popular game during the Edo period (1603-1868) in Japan. Japanese people are excellent at so many things, among which even at telling scary tales and, nowadays, making horror films that send a chill down the spine. The skill may have its roots in this game, too. In a room at night, they would light 100 candles (called andon) and would tell scary stories and relate encounters with ghosts. With every story, they would extinguish one candle. As the room grew darker, the stories would become scarier. ( / _ \ )

A photo taken in Kyoto, and a Japanese candle:

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