After New Years, neighborhoods traditionally gathered the spent bamboo, dharma dolls and other decorations, piled them up and held a bonfire for an event called “Dondo-Yaki”. While this tradition is becoming less common in urban areas, many communities in Nagano continue to put on “Dondo-Yaki”, usually around the holiday weekend at the beginning of January.
Suzaka Town’s “Dondo-Yaki” for 2018 will take place on Monday 08-Jan (“Coming of Age Day” national holiday) on the grounds of Suzaka Elementary School. The bonfire will be lit at 5pm. Participation is free.
It is said that if you eat mochi (sticky rice) roasted over the “Dondo-Yaki” bonfire, you will have good health for the year. Many participants bring their own mochi rolled up in colorful balls and stuck to a branch for roasting over the coals.
Suzaka’s Guesthouse KURA can provide more details. On Sunday, they will make mochi and prepare to roast it at the bonfire, so guests can enjoy a full “Dondo-Yaki” weekend.