Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hari-Kuyo Festival of Broken Needles

Today is February 8th, where, in Japan, the Festival of Broken Needles is celebrated. Each year the a ceremony is held to give thanks to the needles that needle workers have used in their stitching over the last 12 months.  Seamstresses and embroiderers take their broken and worn needles to a shrine where  the needles are placed in tofu or jelly. The ceremony is to give gratitude and show respect to the needles and to pray for improved needle working skills. The belief is that inanimate objects also have a soul and as women stitch they pass their burdens onto their needles  The needles are given a soft resting place.

Several years ago I participated in a course held by Susan Elliott to create a needlebook.

My needle book has been well used.

The last page of this book is where broken and worn needles are stored.

I place my needles in a piece of batting and put that in a small container and bury it in my rose garden.

I have made several needle books now and given them as gifts.

Hari-Kuyo is a fascinating tradition that has been celebrated for several hundred years.

To read more about how I made my first needlebook and lots more about this wonderful tradition see here.

Susan has a post about the festival and how to create your own needlebook here .

Have you made a needle book?


  1. what a lovely tradition. I have several needle books, but always forget to save the broken ones.

  2. Your needle book is just lovely. Was it difficult to make?

  3. Happy Day Miriam! I remember all your needlebooks quite fondly. You have some lucky friends! Today I buried my needles with the roses too...hope the Miriam goodness rubs off on me. May your next year of stitching be filled with beauty, joy and accomplishment! xo Susan

  4. Wonderful Needlebook, and a lovely tradition. I have made needle books of various styles. Perhaps none as lovely as yours!

  5. What an interesting tradition. I have a couple of needle books, but have never saved the broken or dull needles. I'll try and remember to do that this year.

  6. I remember when you posted about this before -- it's such an interesting tradition! Sadly, I'm always in such a hurry when a needle breaks (because they always seem to break at just the wrong time, don't they?) that I forget to save them!