Sep. 15, 2023 UPDATE
Seimeisai Festival- 晴明祭 -
The Chinese website is available and staff in the shop speak some English. (Staff of the street stalls may not speak English).
Japanese and some English
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PeriodSeptember 22nd and 23rd, 2023.
VenueSeimei Jinja Shrine
Story & Recommendation
The most important festival in Seimei Jinja Shrine with long processions
Seimei-Jinja Shrine, where a famous astronomer, Seimei Abe, is worshiped, was established in 1007 near Kyoto Subway Imadegawa Station. You may notice that there are many stickers of pentagrams called "Gobosei" in this shrine. This was made by Seimei Abe and was used for Onmyodo (the way of Yin and Yang; an occult divination system based on the Taoist theory of the five elements) as a prayer charm. Seimeisai Festival is the biggest festival in Seimei Jinja Shrine and lasts for two days. On the first day, Yoimiyasai Festival (festival-eve vigil) will take place at 7 p.m. The ritual for safety and good health will be practiced by a priestess. On the second day, an annual festival (Reisai Festival) takes place, which is the most important ritual in this shrine. Reisai Festival will start from 10 a.m. and a tea ceremony and floral tribute will be offered. One of the highlights is a children's parade with about 100 children marching in procession around Seimei Jinja Shrine. There will be many street stalls around the shrine, so you may enjoy the festival atmosphere. Please check out the gorgeous Mikoshi (portable shrines) and the parade of children as well as various processions (check out the columns below for more information)!
Portable shrines called Mikoshi
On the second day, there is an event of Mikoshi (portable shrines) parade. Portable shrines are carried by men and depart Seimei Jinja Shrine at 1 p.m., and parade around the neighborhood. There are several portable shrines, so please enjoy the beautiful Mikoshi! Otabishosai Festival takes place along the way, and they finally return to the shrine at 5 p.m.
Parade of boy flutists
On the second day, when the portable shrines are carried and paraded around, boy flutists will follow them and perform for this important festival. Besides them, there are also small girls dressing up in ancient formal clothes, horses with men wearing Heian Period costumes and long-handled spears, and more! Please enjoy the lively atmosphere!
During the festival, there will be a lot of street stalls around Seimei Jinja Shrine. We recommend that you buy some food and enjoy them while watching the festival. There are some games in the stalls, so please also try it!
Watch cute children
Seimeisai Festival is also popular for the children’s parade with special festival clothes. Girls wear makeup on, so they look even cuter, and some children walk with their mothers.