Japanese Festival Vocabulary 1 – Cheat Sheet

Ever been to a Japanese festival? This cheat sheet will list all the different items and clothing you will most definitely see on the site. Check our list to know how the meaning and pronunciation of these words. Example sentences formed with the terminologies are also available.

In Japan, there are countless amounts of festivals celebrated each year. Summer is the most popular season with the highest number of festivals held, but they take place every season throughout the year. The Danjiri Matsuri is the most popular festival in Japan where people pray for a good harvest season. Festivals in Japan actually have varying dates in different parts of the country!

Interested in expanding your vocabulary? Keep an eye, or head immediately to the second part of our Japanese festival cheat sheet!


Items commonly found in festivals in Japan:

祭りまつ matsuriFestival
夏祭りなつまつ natsu matsuriSummer festival
花火大会はなびたいかい hanabi taikaiFireworks festival
提灯ちょうちん chōchinLantern
和太鼓わだいこ wadaikoJapanese drum


Clothing usually won by the men and women during festivals:

浴衣ゆかた yukataYukata
はっぴhappiHappi coat
巾着きんちゃく kinchakuDrawstring pouch
草履ぞうり zōriJapanese sandals
下駄げ た getaJapanese wooden footwear

Example Sentences:

After learning the terminologies, let us see how it can be used in conversational sentences!

Example 1:

By saying ‘一緒に夏祭りに行きませんか。

Pronunciation: Issho ni natsu matsuri ni ikimasenka.

It means ‘Would you like to go to the summer festival with me?’

Example 2:

By saying ‘祭りには普段着で行く人も、浴衣を着て行く人もいる。

Pronunciation: Matsuri niwa fudangi de iku hito mo, yukata o kite iku hito mo iru.

It means to ask ‘Some people go to the festival wearing usual clothes, some people go with a yukata.’

Festival Related FAQs

What is a Japanese festival?

In Japanese, festivals are called matsuri. Matsuri is a festival-like cultural event that is popular during summer. People usually wear traditional Japanese clothe and go to shrines or parks to celebrate with their friends or families.

What does female wear at Japanese festival?

Many people choose to wear traditional Japanese clothing at a matsuri festival. For example, girls usually wear something called 浴衣 (yukata). It is different from the formal Japanese dress for girl kimono. Read more about the difference here.

How do you call a firework festival in Japanese?

Firework festival is called 花火大会 (hanabi taikai) in Japanese. There are countless firework festivals in Japan throughout the summer.

How to invite people to Japanese matsuri?

You can invite friends to matsuri by saying 一緒に夏祭りに行きませんか。Pronunciation: Issho ni natsu matsuri ni ikimasenka. Meaning is ‘Would you like to go to the summer festival with me?’

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