Monday, 16 August 2010

Good days to cut basting threads

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 -


shigatsuhana said...

I'm so glad you posted this. Several years ago Bebemochi posted something like this on IG. I'm not superstitious at all, but it is fun to know the good basting thread days. :)

Susan Briscoe said...

I added to that post - part of what I've uploaded here is copied from what I wrote then! I thought about it again as I was snipping threads at the weekend.