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Motsu-ji Temple Hatsukayasai Festival

毛越寺 二十日夜祭(平泉町)

From January 14th-20th every year, Motsu-ji Temple is home to the Matarajin Festival, a New Years celebration that prays for good health, prosperity, and fruitful harvests to come in the new year. The week reaches its peak with the Hatsukayasai, or Festival of the 20th Night, which begins with a series of prayers and rituals starting in the afternoon. As dark falls, a procession of men braving the winter snow dressed only in loincloths march to the temple wielding drums and large pine torches. Men and women who have reached “unlucky ages” according to traditional superstition are invited to a special blessing at the temple, and the men shove and grapple in a boisterous free-for-all to claim a pouch of lucky charms thrown to the crowd. The leftover torch stakes are also said to bring good luck, and a popular souvenir while supplies last.

VENUE DETAILS

Inquiries
Ichinoseki Tourist Information Center 0191-23-2350, Hiraizumi Tourist Information Center 0191-46-2110
Access 1
10 minute walk from Hiraizumi Station (Parade route travels from station to Motsu-ji)

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