Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Portable shrine Omikoshi

Mikoshi (also know as omikoshi when the honorific “o” is added) or Portable shrines are used on shrine’s festivals to take the god of the local shrine around the neighborhood. The size varies from the small ones, about 50kg, carried by the childrens on the early days of the festivals, to the very large ones, of over one ton, used by the very old shrines.

The shrine festival and the omikoshi parade are one of the most looked forward festivals on neighborhoods. Everybody dress up on “happy coats” decorated with the neighbordhood emblem, organizers are happy to lend them if you register in advance to carry the mikoshi.

The Omikoshi is paraded around the neighborhood, bouncing it in coordination to the music and participants cheers, a different cheer is used in each area of japan. I personally prefer to join the smaller shrines festivals where you can actually participate as oppose to the most famous and bigger shrines where is difficult to join the action.


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