Nagoshi no Harae at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Every year, at the end of June, many shrines hold an ancient Japanese purification rite called “Nagoshi no Harae”. In this ceremony started in the Nara period, people atone for their sins in the first half of the year and then pray for their health for the remainder of the year by walking through a tall chinowa wreath (a large sacred ring, made of loosely twisted miscanthus reeds called chigaya).

Many shrines in Kyoto hold such Nagoshi no Harae ceremony, but I choose to see the ceremony at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.  Quite a few people gathered to walk through the ring, despite the rain.


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