Aug. 26, 2020 UPDATE
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The biggest festival held in Awata Shrine
Located in the south part of Kyoto, Awata Shrine was reported to Emperor in Heian Era (about 794 - 1185). The deities that this shrine is dedicated to are “Susanowonomikoto” and “Oonamuchinomikoto”. They have been revered by local people as departure patron through the ages. Awata Festival, known as the biggest festival of this shrine, consists of five Shinto ritual and events. After being held Oide Festival, Yowatari Shinji (Shinto ritual) will be held next day. In this Shinto ritual, group of people who hold “Awata huge lanterns (Awata daitourou)” will parade around the shrine. On the next day, Shinkosai Festival will be held. People who hold Kenhoko, long-handled spears, and Mikoshi, portable shrines, will parade from Awata Shrine. On October 15th, Reitaisai Ritual will be held and the biggest festival will finally be over.
Yowatari Shinji (Shinto ritual)
In this event, Shinto priests and monks will welcome the divine spirit by walking around the stone called “Uryuseki” for three times.This Shinto ritual is a ceremony to give thanks to god of Awata who descended.
Shinkosai Festival is held to give strength to shrine parishioners by parading around the area. On this day, more than 200 people will carry huge Mikoshi, portable shrines, around the town. Also, group of people who hold long-handled spears will purify the parade road by the spears. Although these spears weight about 40 - 60 kilogram and height about 7 - 8 meters, people who hold them balance well while parading.
Awata huge lanterns (Awata daitourou)
This event will be held before Yowatari Shinji (Shinto ritual). In recent years, university students in Kyoto create the lanterns by referring the myth and oral tradition. Please note that you cannot join this event. Please enjoy the beautiful lanterns with lights.