Oct. 03, 2019 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 21st - 22nd, 2020
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 pentagram called Gobosei in this shrine. This was made by Seimei Abe and was used for Onmyodo (way of Yin and Yang; 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 be taken place at 7pm. The ritual for safety and good health will be practiced by priestess. On the second day, an annual festival (Reisai Festival) is taken place which is the most important ritual in this shrine. Reisai Festival will start from 10am and tea ceremony and floral tribute will be offered. One of the highlights is a children 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 a 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 shines) parade. Portable shrines are carried by men and depart Seimei Jinja Shrine at 1pm, and parade around the neighborhood. There are several portable shrines, so please enjoy the beautiful Mikoshi! Otabishosai Festival is taken place along the way and they finally return to the shrine at 5pm.
Parade of boy flutists
On the second day when the portable shrines are carried and parading around, boy flutists will follow them and perform for this important festival. Besides them, there are small girls dressing up in the ancient formal clothes, horses with men wearing the Heian Period costumes and the 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 children’s parade with special festival clothes. Girls wear a make up on, so they look cuter and some children walk with their mothers.