You are invited to Koper, where a barrel of sake will be opened with distinguished guests to usher in the New Year “the Japanese way”. Japanese cultural workshops and a Japanese martial arts demonstration during the day, followed by the Kagami Biraki ceremony in the afternoon. Free entry!

What is the Kagami Biraki ceremony?

Kagami Biraki is a 300-year-old Japanese ritual full of symbolism. It is performed on special occasions such as weddings, housewarmings and sporting events. The most famous Kagami Biraki is performed on the 11th of January, when we open ourselves to good fortune in the New Year.

This is when the Japanese take the mochi rice dessert that has been waiting on their home altar since the New Year and break it into smaller pieces before eating it. Another form of the ceremony involves a barrel of sake rice wine; the round lid of the sake barrel is smashed with a wooden mallet. The round shape of the lid represents harmony, so the ritual symbolises an opening towards harmony and happiness. We have brought this ritual to Slovenia.


10.00-13.00: Competition to celebrate 30 years of inclusive Judo in Slovenia

13.00-16.30: Workshops on Japanese culture: among others Japanese calligraphy, wearing the Japanese kimono Yukata, Japanese strategic board games, Taiko drums and anime.

13.00-16.30: Japanese martial arts workshops: Judo, Ju-jitsu, Karate, Aikido, Kendo, Ninjitsu and Tenshinshō-den Katōri Shintō-ryū.

17.00-18.30: Kagami Biraki main event with soda smashing

The event is jointly organised by all judo clubs in Slovenian Istria in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan in Slovenia, the Municipality of Koper, the Municipality of Izola, the Municipality of Piran, the Municipality of Ankaran and the Judo Federation of Slovenia.