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Growing with Community: Celebrating Cultural Festivals at Portland Japanese Garden

Embark on a captivating journey through a myriad of festivals, immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of cultural celebrations through our new art exhibition in the Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery, Growing with Community: Celebrating Cultural Festivals at Portland Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden’s mission is Inspiring Harmony and Peace. For sixty years, the Garden has promoted cultural understanding of Japan with locals and visitors from around the world through the beauty of the Garden as well as through cultural programs. Since the 1970s, Portland Japanese Garden has brought together the community to celebrate traditional cultural festivals.

In Japan, five traditional festivals dating back to the Heian Period (794-1185), known as Go Sekku, are observed throughout the year. The term sekku (節句) literally means turning points of seasons, and also refers to making a food offering to God to ensure good fortune.

Jinjitsu or Nanakusa no Sekku– Human Day on January 7

Joshi or Momo no Sekku (Hina Matsuri) – Doll’s Day on March 3

Tango no Sekku (Kodomo no Hi) – Children’s Day on May 5

Shichiseki no Sekku (Tanabata) – The Star Festival on July 7

Chōyō or Kiku no Sekku – Chrysanthemum Festival on September 9

Portland Japanese Garden hosts community events for Doll’s Day, Children’s Day, and the Star Festival. We celebrate New Year’s Day, the most important holiday of the year in Japan, instead of Human Day. We mark the Chrysanthemum Festival in partnership with Ikebana International Chapter #47 with an ikebana exhibition featuring mums. In addition, we celebrate O-Bon in mid-August and O-Tsukimi, or Moonviewing, when the Harvest Moon rises in September or October.

We invite you to learn more about these festivals or better yet, join us in celebrating the diversity and beauty of culture at Portland Japanese Garden.


Tanabe Gallery

Among the many new experiences that await visitors inside the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center is the beautifully designed Calvin and Mayho Tanabe Gallery.