2019 Kamimukae-shinji – The Ritual of Welcoming the Gods
The ritual of welcoming the gods (kamimukae-shinji 神迎神事) will be held on the 6th of November, starting at 7:00 pm!
As the ceremony goes every year, all the gods of Shintoism will gather on Inasa no Hama beach, in the dark of the night, sacred fires lit on the shore, with a silent crowd watching as the chief priests of Izumo Taisha read sacred texts to welcome them! A solemnly dignified moment to witness.
As this event happens at night and is a bit crowded, it is difficult to see and understand what’s happening. Be advised that it is not the kind of festival that is suited for hanging around as a casual spectator. But if you look for some information about it beforehand and observe it as a religious ritual, then you can have quite a unique experience.
After the ceremony, the gods stay for a week in Izumo, holding a divine meeting that will set our destiny of the next year, before going back to their respective shrines. That is why the 10th month of Japan’s old lunar calendar is called “kannazuki,” the month with no gods present – they are all in Izumo. Only here in Shimane, we call this period the month with the gods, “kamiarizuki.”
Don’t forget to wear warm clothes and bring kairo (pocket body warmers you can find in any convenience store), as the wind blowing on the beach can be quite chilly! :)
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