I would love to update the Calendar on Eternal Maiko with a listing of the major holidays celebrated in Kyoto, in Japan and particularly in the Gion District. I do not have access to this (I am not an administrator) but I thought perhaps we could start a listing here, and when the Admins agree (if the beloved Admins agree) they can add them to the Calendar -- so that there is a listing that people can check!
I also think it would be cool to keep a listing of Erikae and Misedashi in the Karyuukai, as well as major dance performances... what do people think?
To start with what I know so far:Miyako-odori (Cherry Blossom Dance)
This performance has been a staple of Gion Kobu since 1873. The “Miyako Odori” is now entrusted to the current Master of Kyomai Dance, Yachiyo Inouye the V and takes place each Spring in the Kaburenjo Theater.
Date: April 1st - 30th
Place: Kaburenjo TheaterKyo Odori (Kyoto Dance)
This dance is performed by the maiko and geigi of Miyagawa-cho Kabu-kai. The first performance was put on at the Miyagawa-cho Kaburen-jo Theater in 1950. Depicting famous places and things in Kyoto, the dance enjoys great popularity. After the fifth performance the stage was moved to the Minami-za Theater, but with the completion of a new Miyagawa-cho Kaburen-jo Theater in 1969, the dance returned to its original location.
Date: April 1st to 15th
Place: Kaburenjo TheaterKitano Odori (Kitano Dance)
This is a performance of the Kamishichiken-kabukai. The rehearsal club that used to meet at Iwagami-za Theater at Kamidachiuri-Seifuku - ji Temple moved to the Kitano Club in 1902. This performance was officially begun jointly in 1952 by the Kitano Club and the Mando Club in commemoration of the 1,050th anniversary of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine.
Date: April 15 to 25
Place: Kaburenjo TheaterKamogawa Odori (Kamo River Dance)
This dance is performed by the maiko and geiko of Ponto-cho Hanamachi. It started in 1872 as part of the Kyoto Exposition. It was subsequently established as an annual event in Kyoto. This refined stage performance enjoys a wide range of fans.
Date: May 1 to 24
Place: Kaburenjo TheaterAoi Matsuri
It's an annual festival of Kamigamo Jinja Shrine and Shimogamo Jinja Shrine. As costumes of festival participants and shrine buildings are decorated with hollyhock leaves (aoi), this festival is generally known as Aoi Matsuri (hollyhock festival). The main attraction of this festival is a procession of hundreds of people in ancient Japanese court costumes.
Date: May 15
Location: Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) / Shimogamo Shrine / Kamigamo ShrineSpecial Traditional Joint Performances by "Five Hanamachi of Kyoto"
These performances were started in 1994 in commemoration of the 1,200th anniversary of the establishment of the Heian Capital at Kyoto. They consist of wonderful traditional dances of Kyoto, preserved and continued through the ages. They are performed jointly at (by) the so-called "Five Hanamachi of Kyoto", instantly (1) Gion Kobu, (2) Ponto-cho, (3) Miyagawa-cho, (4) Gion Higashi and (5) Kamishichiken. The combination of the refined dances of the Hanamachi and the maiko dancers gathered together under one roof make for a colorful stage spectacle.
Place: Kyoto Kaikan TheaterKyoto Gion Matsuri
It's an annual festival of Yasaka Shrine. The highlight of this festival is Yamahoko-junko held on July 17. It's a procession of large Yamahoko floats which are decorated with traditional fabrics and so on.
Period: July 1 to 31
Location: Yasaka Shrine in Higashiyama-ku and other locations in Kyoto-cityGozan Okuribi
or Daimonji Gozan Fire Festival
Kyoto Daimonji, or Gozan Okuribi, is a well-known summer event in Kyoto. Five large bonfires are lit on the slopes of five mountains which surround Kyoto-city. It's said that fires are lit to send ancestors' spirits back at the end of Obon. The bonfires depict kanji characters and certain designs.
Date: August 16
Location: Slopes of five mountains surround Kyoto-cityComb Festival
This is a festival of appreciation for people's favorite combs. Sponsored by the Kyoto Beauty Culture Club, this festival first began in 1961. At 1:00 in the afternoon a procession of women wearing traditional hairstyles from ancient to modern times proceeds down Higashi-oji-dori to Kushizuka Tomb in the shrine precincts, where they dedicate an old combs.
Date: Fourth Monday in September
Place: Yasui Konpira-gu ShrineJidai Matsuri
As this festival is called the Festival of the Ages, the festival procession represents different ages in Japanese history. The procession leaves for Heian Jingu Shrine from Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace).
Date: October 22
Location: Heian Jingu / Kyoto GoshoKurama Fire Festival
This is one of the three most remarkable festivals in Kyoto. It is said to reenact the scene of the enshrined deity greeted after traveling from the Imperial Palace to Kurama-no-Sato village, at the end of the Heian Period. On the evening of the 22nd watch fires are lit at the entrances to the local houses, and at 6:00 in the evening the town is lit up with torches carried by children. Soon after that the local people, wearing straw warrior sandals, parade through the streets carrying a great torch and yelling along the way until they gather at the sacred precincts of the shrine. Two portable shrines amid the sparks from the torches present a grand sight. The return celebration is held on the 23rd.
Date: October 22 to 23
Place: Yuki - jinja Shrine, KyotoGion Odori (Gion Dance)
This dance is performed by maiko and geigi of the Gion Higashi Kabu-kai. First performed in 1953, the dance is distinguished for its original planning and composition.
Date: November 1st to 10th
Location: Gion Kaikan Theater