Making Candles and Lanterns for the Kappa Matsuri

Date of Activity: August 21st


Today we had a lot of fun! In the morning we met a lot of Japanese high school students who would accompany us during our activities of that day. At first we played a game called “samurai” to break the ice – it was very funny. After that we got divided into smaller groups and the students taught us how to make candles out of used frying oil. We make candles existing of three colours, and there were lots of pretty colour combinations. Our group chose the colours purple, green and blue.


At noon we ate lunch together, and after that we walked to the bamboo forest. The forest was called “Geijyutsu no Mori”, which means “The Forest of Art”. It was the first time I’ve ever been to a bamboo forest, but I really liked it. There was a lot of wind, and when the trees hit each other, it made a hollow sound. At first we each had to cut off a piece of bamboo for our lantern. It was pretty difficult since bamboo’s very hard…


After we each got our lantern, we could use different drills to carve out the design we made the day before. Originally, I wanted to carve out three children holding hands and write “KIZUNA” – which means “strong bonds” – underneath. But due to a lack of time, my design ended up a little different. It became one child with a really big head. It looks really weird, but it’s also cute at the same time, so I like it a lot. There were many beautiful lantern designs. I’m really looking forward to the “Kappa Matsuri” – “Kappa festival” – Saturday, because Abiko will be decorated with lanterns and candles everywhere. I’m sure it will be incredibly beautiful!

(Tine Von Den Broecke, Belgium)

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