Free food, free live music and a cultural experience all-around – what more could you ask for in a festival?
This Sunday, January 2nd, the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community presents the 22nd annual Mochi Tsuki Festival in IslandWood, the island’s 255-acre outdoor learning center. While the mochi is the star, the festival will also feature films, displays, and live taiko drumming.
What is Taiko?
Taiko both refers to specific Japanese drums and the style of music which they are used to play. The drums come in sizes large, larger, and mind-blowingly huge, and playing one in the proper style requires a high level of physical fitness. Watching a taiko performance is both exciting and exhausting, and if you check out this festival, it’s not to be missed.
What is Mochi?
Mochi is a type of rice cake that, while eaten year-round in Japan, is the traditional food for celebrating the new year. The painstaking cooking process includes soaking glutinous rice overnight, cooking it, pounding the heck out of it in a mortar, and forming it into a cube. While this is absolutely something to sample, bear in mind that is quite sticky and easy to choke on, particularly for children.
This festival is free, and no registration is required. For more information, call 206-855-4307.
[photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force]