Portland, January 8th. The Portland Japanese Garden New Year Celebration drew hundreds of supporters. They welcomed Year of the Dragon!  (It has taken place in 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and now in 2012).

Calligraphy students hold up their calligraphy characters.

Calligraphy students hold up their calligraphy characters.

O-Shogatsu, the Japanese New Year, is the most important festival of the year in Japan. It’s a time for family and friends to celebrate this auspicious day together and wish for good health and blessings in the new year.

The Garden’s celebration of O-Shogatsu featured kakizome, the writing of the first calligraphy of the new year.  The practice of kakizome is held throughout Japan on the second day of the New Year, and children are encouraged to write a celebratory character in their best hand to set the tone for success in their studies in the coming year.

Here’s a link to a Youtube video of Master calligrapher Sekko Daigo at the Portland Japanese Garden’s 2012 O-Shogatsu celebration.

Guests also had a chance to sample O-Matcha, the green tea of The Way of Tea.

The Garden is located in the west hills of Portland, Oregon, directly above the Rose Gardens in Washington Park.

Street Address:
611 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205