As I open out quite a few vintage cotton bolts, some which have been tacked closed for forty years, I pondered on whether today is taian (Japanese great day or lucky day) or not. You are supposed to cut tacking stitches, on bolts or kimono, on lucky days. I wonder if it also applies to quilts?
It works on a cycle of six days - lucky day, then five in between with various degrees of good luck/bad luck, as follows -
1. Sensho - The morning is auspicious, but the afternoon will bring bad luck. Do things early. A good day for urgent business. Today - Monday 16th August.
2.Tomobiki - Except for noontime, the day is auspicious. It is bad luck to hold funerals (said to be inviting another death) and Buddhist services on this day. Tomorrow - Tuesday 17th August (Takenoko's birthday too).
3.Sempu - The afternoon is auspicious. Urgent business and controversy should be avoided. Do everything with serenity. Wednesday - set up day at Festival of Quilts. I will try to be serene as I carry stuff into the hall.
4.Butsumetsu - This day is bad luck in all respects. (The day of Buddha's death - equivalent of Friday in Christian week calendar). Uhoh - this is Thursday 19th, first day of Festival of Quilts. I better make sure all those bolts get opened up the afternoon before!
5. Taian - Good luck in everything -celebrations, weddings, shrine visits, starting new things etc. Saturday August 14th was Taian. Friday 20th will be another.
6.Shakku - The opposite of Tomobiki, only noontime is auspicious; the rest of the day is bad luck. Sunday 15th August.
I'm not suggesting that we are superstitious or that I believe in any of this stuff really (or wishing bad luck on anyone). But it would be in keeping with tradition and a nice detail to remove basting stitches on an auspicious day, or at the most auspicious time on a day that isn't 100% lucky! :)
If you want to check out your lucky days, there's an online calendar for you plus lots of information about the Japanese calendar and national holidays -the calendar is at the bottom of the page - http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/rokuyo.html#calendar
6 hours ago