Celebrate the Year of the Horse at the annual Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, January 5, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum. Normally, admission can be as much as $9, but admission is free for all for this event.
The horse, or "uma" in Japanese, is the seventh symbol in the Japanese Zodiac and represents liveliness and openness. Cultural performances, special foods, and fun crafts at the Oshogatsu Family Festival honor this powerful animal. Giddy-up in the horse bounce house, craft a horse wall hanging, or learn to fold a prancing horse in Ruthie’s Origami Corner. Color in your Asian zodiac animal with fun coloring pages from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Watch world-renowned candy artist Shan Ichiyanagi make his specialty horse candy sculptures, which will be raffled off at the beginning of each hour for children only from noon to 2 p.m.. Let the kids meet and ride live ponies from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. If you've ponied up for a JANM membership, your children can use the Member Express Lane.
Starting at noon, sample some tasty osechi-ryori, or traditional Japanese New Year foods while supplies last. If you're a JANM member, there's a members only special gourmet osechi-ryori tasting that begins at 1 p.m. until supplies last. Learn how to make onigiri rice balls - a Japanese dish filled with a traditional savory ingredient and covered in nori - in the onigiri contest sponsored by Common Grains from noon to 2 p.m. Enhance your luck in 2014 with lucky zaru soba (buckwheat noodles) with Kidding Around the Kitchen from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Join Kodama Taiko at 2:30 and 4 p.m. as they perform a demonstration of Mochitsuki, a traditional rice cake pounding ceremony. At the end of the performance, Mochi samples will be passed out.
Feeling lucky? Buy a fukubukuro, known as a "lucky bag," in the museum gift shop. The contents of the bag are a mystery until you purchase it, but traditionally there is a very valuable prize in at least one bag.
Come horse around!
Oshogatsu Family Festival - Free
January 5, 2014 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
369 East First Street
Between South Central &
Little Tokyo 90012