New Year’s practice at Fire Horse Aikido in New Haven, Conn.
Or, Happy New Year! Birankai dojos across the country held special practices in waning hours of 2013 and early hours of 2014 to celebrate the coming Year of the Horse.
San Diego Aikikai rung in the new year with Misogi harai, zazen and aikido misogi. Aikido misogi is traditionally practiced at Hombu Dojo with 108 suwariwaza shomenuchi ikkyo, the number representing the multitude of worldly passions said to cause suffering in the Buddhist tradition. Members prepared soba, nishime, tempura and inari for the after-party.
Birankai teachers celebrate New Year’s in Ann Arbor.
At Fire Horse Aikido in New Haven, Conn., we did 108 ikkyo followed by yosenabe, oden, miso soup and a range of fine foods and beverages. Midwestern teachers gathered in Ann Arbor for New Year’s.
And check out this performance by the Brooklyn Aikikai house band at their New Year’s celebration, which lasted until 7 a.m. the next day:
Here are some of the New Year’s traditions observed at Aikido Hombu Dojo in Japan:
Etsunen-Keiko: New Year’s Eve practice. Read this report on the event from Birankai’s own Roo Heins in the Hombu Dojo newsletter.
Etsunen-geiko at Hombu Dojo.
Hatsu-Keiko: First class of the year with Doshu. This class is attended by most Hombu senior members and instructors, who practice with general members. You may end up getting schooled by a high-ranking shihan for an entire class! (Trust me, I know.)
Kagami Biraki: The “breaking the mirror” celebration held about a week after New Year’s. Members pound rice into mochi and then enjoy grilled mochi and sweet bean soup. Read about this event from the perspective of a Brazilian student in this item in the Hombu newsletter.
Kangeiko: Mid-winter training period where members are encouraged to train every day for 10 days. Read this report from Guillaume Erard and see the souvenir prizes for participating.
Happy New Year to all!