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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Kamiari matsuri
A rite held on the tenth through seventh days of the tenth month of the lunar calendar at Izumo Taisha in Taisha Township, Hikawa-gun, Shimane Prefecture. Generally, October was referred to as kannazuki (the month when kami are not present). But since kami from throughout the country gather at Izumo during this month, people refer to it here as the Kamiarizuki (month when kami are present). There is a rite of welcoming the kami. Following this and until the seventeenth, the shrine priests (shinshoku) begin a period of abstinence and purification (monoimi). They also perform rituals for the kami who have gathered from all over the country at Izumo Taisha . This is also called the oimimatsuri (festival of abstinence). On the evening of the seventeenth the priests perform a ceremony of sending off or returning the kami. Behind an enclosed area of white cloth, white-robed priests carry sakaki branches draped with shide paper tassels and send off the kami. People refer to this sending off of the kami as the karasade shinji. There is a similar kamiari matsuri at Sata Jinja in Sata, Kajima Township, Yatsuka-gun, Shimane Prefecture from November twentieth. A rite of sending off of the kami is performed there on the evening of the twenty-fifth.

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