Happy in Harajuku

Harajuku, Tokyo is known internationally as a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. Shopping and dining options include many small, youth oriented, independent boutiques and cafés, but the neighborhood also attracts many larger international chain stores with high-end luxury merchandisers extensively represented along Omotesando – Wikipaedia

You will find youth dressed up in different styles and times.

Here are examples:

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Had been there and really, who can’t help being happy there?

Following is a video with music from Pharell Williams.

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Celebration of Spring around the world

Japan
People celebrate hanami, a traditional custom of viewing cherry blossoms. Hanami parties are organized all over the country with picnics under the cherry trees

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Switzerland
Participants wearing chimney caps parade in the Sechselauten or spring festival in Zurich, which is held every April to mark the end of winter. Each costumed group is symbolic of a historical guild in Zurich that represents different trades, such as fishermen, blacksmiths, etc.

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Pakistan

The people of the Kalash minority ( about 4000 of them) in Pakistan celebrate Joshi, the spring festival for four days in May.
The spring festival honours the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to the pastures.
Every religious ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to a beat of the drum. Tribal chiefs in colourful dresses narrate stories of bygone days and events.

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India and wherever there are Hindus
The colorful festival of Holi is celebrated on Phalgun Purnima which comes in February end or early March. Holi festival has an ancient origin and celebrates the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’. The colorful festival bridges the social gap and renew sweet relationships. On this day, people hug and wish each other ‘Happy Holi’.

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Nepal

Tiji festival is the popular festival celebrating in the Upper Mustang region by the Tibetan Buddhist people for over three days each spring with dances performed by monks. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

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Slovenia
Kurentovanje is a ten-day rite of spring and fertility, celebrated in Slovenia. The name of the event comes from the festival’s central figure, the Kurent, who is believed to have the power to chase away winter and usher in spring.

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China and wherever there are Chinese

China’s Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, is the most widely-celebrated and most important festival in China and most parts of the world where Chinese reside (corresponding to Christmas in the West).

In traditional culture, the celebrations of Spring Festival can last for more than twenty days, from the twelfth Chinese month to the Lantern Festival (occurring somewhere in the period from late January to late-February). All these celebrations are related to sacrificing to deities, ancestors, and Buddha, cleaning away the dirt of the past year, and welcoming the New Year, good fortune (fu 福), and happiness.

Lighting up the firecrackers (seen below)

Chinese Spring Festival

Spring Festival Couplets

Taiwan

Taiwan also celebrates Chinese New Year, of course. However, it is famously known for its PingXi Sky Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. The launching of the lanterns takes place after dark with the hopes and dreams of those (people) that have given the floating lanterns flight, written on slips of paper that are enclosed in the containers. This impressive aerial display of lighted orbs ascending into the atmosphere occurs as part of a fortnight of celebrations of the Chinese New Year.

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Chinese New Year a.k.a Spring Festival 2013

The Chinese New Year, a.k.a Spring Festival begins on Feb. 10 this year and ends with the Lantern Festival on Feb 15. The Chinese population in any Asian country (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Mauritius, Korea, etc.), as well as those in countries where Chinatowns exist are expected to celebrate this festival. It marks the beginning of the lunar new year. This year is the year of the Snake.

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How do they celebrate?

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·New Year Cleaning
Days before the New Year begins, most household will do spring-clean of their house. Sweeping on New Year’s Day itself is not recommended as it is said to sweep away the year’s good fortune. Breaking dishes or using sharp objects is also seen as potentially unlucky.

Family Reunion Dinner
OnNew Year Eve, all family members will return home for a grand reunion dinner.Foods in the typical menu are chosen for their auspicious meanings, such as fish for richness and glutinous rice cakes (Nian Gao) for better life. Usually the fish is intentionally not finished, and the remaining is stored overnight. It comes from a Chinese pun “Nian Nian You Yu”, where the pronounciation of fish (Yu) is the same as leftover/surplus, thus giving a message of “having profit every year”.

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·The Character Fu
The Character Fu, literally meaning luck, auspiciousness, happiness or blessing, is a must in Spring Festival decorations. It can be found on a poster, on a red envelope, as a paper-cutting work, on a Chinese knot, and in many other New Year decorations for the festival.
An interesting fact is that the Character Fu is usually displayed upside-down. That’s because in Chinese, the words for “upside-down” and “to arrive” sound similar. Therefore, pasting the Character Fu upside-down on a door indicates “Good luck arrives”.

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·New Year Couplets
New Year Couplets are an essential part of Spring Festival decorations. New Year Couplets are written in black ink on two vertical strips of red paper which is then pasted each on one side of a door. The first (or upper) line is on the right side while the second (lower) line is on the left. A third horizontal piece is pasted on the door frame.
Typically the New Year Couplets present a happy and hopeful message and sincere wish for a better New Year.

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·Worship Ceremony
Ancestral worship and God worship are important parts of festivals for paying respects to ancestors or fairies, and wishing for a smooth and harvest year.

·Red Envelope or Red Packet
Red Envelope or Red Packet is a monetary gift (lucky money packed in a red envelope) presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Lunar New Year. It symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits. It is also named as Ya Sui Qian, meaning money to guard against evil and bless with happiness.
Traditionally the lucky money is in even number (especially in a number with auspicious meanings). For example, 88 is a lucky number for the pronounciation of eight is similar to the words for getting rich.

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origin of this article – china holidays.com

Previous year celebrations

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