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Sunday, February 08, 2009

kitty: happy hari-kuyo (memorial service for used pins & needles)

Happy Hari-kuyo (Memorial Service for Used Pins)!!!!

Thanks Knitgrrl, for posting about this celebration. To be honest I had no idea that there was a Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles in Japan. So I quickly did a google and read as much info as I could before calling a dear friend to find out more information, thanks A.

Today is a day of respect for the tools of the sewing trade. It is a 400 year old tradition where historically a tofu paste would be made in the temple and the broken needles would be placed into it before they were taken to there place of rest.

I am so happy to hear that this festival exist, but more over that there is a day to lay respect to the tools of the trade. A day to thank them for helping the artisan / crafter / weavers / tailors / seamstresses / even Fashion Students for the hard work the tools have done. Also a day where secretes that were put into the pins could be revealed to the gods. This is a day to take off from your needlework project to lay respect and gratitude.

Additional information:

What I find really interesting is that this day marks the end of the Chinese New Years celebration. Where historically you would not have done any household chores or even taken out your trash for 15 days. It was believed that doing so would show that your year to come would be full of waste and bad luck. The end of New Year also marks the day when the real work for the new year was about to start.

Sadly it looks like I am out of tofu and with the deadline today I doubt I will make it to the store. I did run downstairs and burned some incense to thank my needles for there help in achieving my goals.

updated the goddess of needlecraft, arts, creativity JP: "Wakahiru, the Japanese goddess of weaving, takes a much deserved break from her toils today to enjoy the beauty of handcrafted items, and she suggest you do likewise. Legend has it that she is also the dawn goddess - a suitable job for the younger sister of Amaterasu (the sun goddess), who favored Wakahiry because of her excellent weaving skills. When Wakahiur died, Amaterasu refused to shine until lured out of her hiding place by the invention of mirrors.

To Do today: Find a pocket swing kit and use it as a Wakahiru charm for creativity. Energize the charm of leaving it in the light of dawn saying, With inventiveness fill, by your power and my will."said Patricia Telesco from 365 Goddess.

The goddess of weaving for Chinese, Zhi Nu: Zhi Nu the goddess from the Seven Sisters Festival or Chinese Valentines day.

But Remember No NEEDLEWORK is done today. Clean your tools and thank them.


  1. Very interesting.. thank you for the information! Sadly I wasn't home today but I didn't do any needlework- at least my tools got a rest!

  2. I had no idea!! Luckily I didn't knit that day, just on chance... same day next year?? So glad you blogged about it!

  3. Hi Sarah, The New Girl... I just checked Chinese New Years next year will be on Feb 14, 2010. So Hari-kuyo will be on March 1, 2010.

    I certainly plan on marking my calendar.

    I washed all of my knitting needles and cleaned my wheel on Sunday between testing for a deadline.

  4. Hi Kitty Kitty,

    Thank you for the information. I was late in finding it this year but I will keep it in mind for the future.

    Thank you for the lovely presentation.

    Sincerely, Euphoria