Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Shichi Go San

Shichi Go San means Seven Five Three in Japanese, and it's the name of a ceremony held for children in a Shinto shrine when they are seven, five and three years old. It's a thanksgiving and blessing, thanking the gods for their life and health so far, and asking for more. On this day, children of the appropriate ages get dressed in their kimonos to visit the shrine.

To the right, Amy and Lena are sitting in the hall of the shrine, while the priest does some rituals. They were very good, especially Amy, who was all over the place when she was three. Lena was a bit more restless - she kept turning around to tell me about the 'magic'. She thought it was a magic show, and she even clapped when it was over!

At the bottom, they are ringing the bells outside the hall, to call the attention of the gods. Actually they were just having fun, but that's what the bells are supposed to be used for!


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