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Summer Purification Ceremony with Chinowa (cogon grass ring)

June 30 is the day for Nagoshi no Harae (夏越祓, purification ceremony in summer). Many Japanese people visit shrines or temples on this day to offer prayers in order to get rid of impurities in their souls accumulated during the first half of the year, and wish for good health for the rest of the year.

According to Japanese tradition, many shrines in Kyoto set gigantic Chinowa (茅の輪, cogon grass ring) in the premises for visitors to pass through, and I also visited Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) to try. The shrine was holding its monthly market and was very crowded. I felt being purified after I went through the gigantic Chinowa.

Time goes really quickly, and in fact I didn’t have many lucky things these days. So my prayer must have been fervent.

Lately, many visitors pull grass twigs from Chinowa to take it home and I really don’t understand. Why do people want to take it home when Chinowa is absorbing people’s impurity?

Now, the first half of the year has already passed. I cannot wish for anything more than a good health. The shrine was filled with Tanabata (七夕, Vega Festival) atmosphere. The summer is coming soon.

Akane Kibune
Kyoto Expert Certificate 1st Grade



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