Archive for October, 2011

The Celebration of 7, 5, 3 at Hokkaido Shrine

Let me quote wikipedia entries on 7.5.3 celebration.
…Except for academic writing, quoting information on wikipedia is an accepted practice, isn’t it?

    “Seven-Five-Three” is a traditional rite of passage and festival day in Japan for three- and seven-year-old girls and three- and five-year-old boys, held annually on November 15.

    It is said to have originated in the Heian Period amongst court nobles who would celebrate the passage of their children into middle childhood. The ages three, five and seven are consistent with Japanese numerology, which dictates that odd numbers are lucky.
    Over time, this tradition passed to the samurai class who added a number of rituals. By the Meiji Period, the practice was adopted amongst commoners as well, and included the modern ritual of visiting a shrine to drive out evil spirits and wish for a long healthy life.

In Hokkaido, instead of NOvember 15, October 15 is 7ー5ー3 celebration day.
But it’s OK to come anytime around October 15th.

So on October 8, one week before, as the weather was very nice, many parents took their children to Hokkaido Shrine.

There is a 7.5.3 Festival sign at the entrance.

Wow! I have never seen so many people qeueing in front of this tea shop.
Qeueing to be seated and have a cup of tea and cookie for free??
I think, people just enjoy staying longer in the Shrine.

Look, there were even stalls that sell cootton candy, light snacks and toys.

The children are all dressed up in thier kimono ( or Halama for boys).

First, everybody have to clearn thier mouth and hands at the water fountain.

Oh, the famous old judge Mr. Shima is even smiling.

After paying the fee, the families sit inside the prayer hall and get blessed by the priests.
When it’s over, chidren get a big flat candy called chitoseame, (literally translated- thousand year old candy)in the hope they live as long as one thousand year. (… impossible!)
But that what every parent hope for their kids all over the world in any era.

There are so many happy faces!!
All over the Shrine compound people are taking pictures.

Some parents took thoer child for 100 day’s blessing.

Some took their new cars to get blessed.

Some people are wishing good luck in their lives.

Some are reading a written oracle hoping to have a good luck in their lives.

So many hopes and wishes of so many people at Hokkaido Shrine on October 8th,2011.