Posted in Knitting
February 8, 2009

Happy Harikuyo!

Today is Harikuyo, the festival of broken needles. Harikuyo is a memorial service for the broken sewing needles of the past year that is celebrated in Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples across Japan, a ritual of thanks and respect for the tools of the sewing trade…but why limit it to that? Let’s honor our broken knitting needles and crochet hooks as well. The DPNs you sat on, the circs your cat successfully attacked and chewed… we’ll say they’re eligible, too.

So, happy Harikuyo! (I suggest sushi to celebrate. How about inari? They’re little tofu pockets, kind of like the tofu pieces the broken needles are placed within during the ceremony. Not cool with sushi? Don’t forget chocolate goes with everything!)

Updated to add: other interesting info from Kitty at KnitBuddies

“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.

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

Thank you, needles!

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  • stariel

    I think only one pair of circular needles met its demise this year in my needle collection – it was a set of pink 2.25mm needles that was saved from an early grave by super glue earlier in the year, and then met it’s final end in the jaws of my sister’s dog.

    Goodbye little needles, I miss you!

    Reply to stariel
  • Annette

    My crochet hooks are metal and last forever. Some of them are from the 60s, I inherited (stole) them from my mother.

    Can I have sushi anyway?

    Reply to Annette
  • kitty kitty

    Thank you so much for posting about this festival.

    Reply to kitty kitty
  • Mary

    Being half Japanese, I really enjoyed this! Domarigoto!

    Reply to Mary
  • Sasayaku

    My puppy got into some of my knitting and one of my DPNs met its demise. Trouble is I never found it! I should honor my puppy then…what do you think? I love him all the time anyway – just one more reason…

    Reply to Sasayaku

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