The day continues with Shichi-Go-San! We ushered the kids into the main building of the shrine and settled down. The priest talked a little bit about the holiday, being grateful to our parents for raising us well and about the things that were behind him in the room. The principal of my school told me that the children don’t get a lot of opportunities to see the inside of the building… just like me!
Naturally, I was excited as well. I was eating it all up! The priest changed into a different type of clothing to perform the rituals for Shichi-Go-San. It was a really beautiful purple color… almost like a cape. Very fancy! He did some chanting and played a drum to drive away evil spirits from harming the children in the future. Near the end, he waved a long stick with paper streamers attached to it over the kids. The whole time, I was wide-eyed and fascinated. It was so different from anything I’d ever seen.
After we finished up the ritual, I got a chance to take a closer look inside while the kids went on mini tours around the shrine with the priests and their teachers. There were several really old paintings on display. The principal said one of them was so old that is was BC! I was amazed at how nice they still were for being that old. I got to look at the outside as well with the other foreign teacher and then we all took pictures together with the priest outside. I’m telling you, this priest was so kind! Full of smiles.
Although I don’t personally practice their religion, I love expanding my knowledge and experiencing different things. It just enriches my own beliefs and ideas about myself! Japan has such a rich culture and so much well-preserved history everywhere I turn here so I always feel blessed that I can explore something very different from what I know. Of course, I have to document it through photos and share it with my readers! I love going to take a shot and thinking about how I can convey my impression during the moment. When I think of someone enjoying my photos and becoming interested in my topic, I feel so happy!
When we got back to school, the kids got to take home chitose ame, which means thousand year candy. They package the candy in colorful paper bags that have a crane and turtle to symbolize the kids living a long life especially for Shichi-Go-San. The actual candy is two long sticks, one red and one white. My friend Maria stole them from me after I hoarded them away. The candy is wrapped in an edible rice paper, which I didn’t know! The school was really nice to give me a bag as well, considering I’m not seven, five or three. 😉 The stores were fully stocked with all kinds of chitose ame, so I picked some up on sale after the holiday was over. Yum!
Q: Shichi-Go-San has a special candy that is given out for the holiday. Do you have a similar holiday that gives out candy?
I’m going to say Halloween, but it just doesn’t measure up! 😀
Missed my first post on Shichi-Go-San? Check it out here.