Tenjin Matsuri
The Procession
 

Once the procession starts moving, the banner and lantern carriers head each group, palanquin or mikoshi. Musicians and dancers accompany each main group, as well.

It's important to remember that this ceremony has changed dramatically over the past 1,000 years. In the original ceremony, a sacred spear was floated downriver from the shore of the shrine and a ceremony of purification was held wherever the spear washed up on shore. People from nearby towns and villages built boats and participated in the ceremony to welcome the new god.

Many of the priests that I saw in the procession were carried on horses

Music is a very important part of this festival. Much of the music that is sung or played on pipes, drums and gongs has not changed much since the festival began. The rythms and tunes are considered sacred in shinto tradition.

 

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