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Shoryuji Temple Pumpkin Festival / Traditional Festivals

Shoryuji temple, dedicated to Vaisravana.

In Hakata, like many places throughout Japan, people eat pumpkins or konnyaku (jelly made from the root of a konnyaku yam) and take a yuzu (citrus fruit) bath at the winter solstice to prevent a cold. The words of wisdom passed down by our ancestors encourage us to take carotene or vitamins from pumpkins or citrus fruit to help prevent the common illnesses.

The Shoryuji Temple Pumpkin Festival is held every year at the winter solstice. At 10am and at 1pm, the priests pray for better fortune and then give out pumpkin soup, boiled pumpkin, and ginkgo nut rice.

A Stone monument with a pumpkin on top.

This traditional pumpkin festival has been held for over 300 years. A long time ago, a merchant had an accident at sea. He was rescued by Vaisravana who was holding a pumpkin. Later, he built a Vaisravana hall in Shoryuji temple and gave out pumpkins to the visitors, which is how this festival started.

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