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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Chichibu yomatsuri
Chichibu yomatsuri is the common name for the annual high festival (reitaisai) held at Chichibu Jinja (Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture), on December 12 and 13. This festival is known for its splendidly decorated dashi (floats). From the morning of December 3, members of each district pull around their yatai (portable stands) or dashi, some of which have open stages performing Kabuki. At around seven o'clock in the evening, all six of the yatai and dashi gather at the shrine. After the ceremony, the shin'yo (sacred palanquin) makes its togyo (sacred procession) to the otabisho (temporary resting spot) while the yatai and the dashi, now decorated with lanterns, follow the shin'yo to the accompaniment of Chichibu yataibayashi drums. They arrive at the otabisho after climbing the steep hill called Dangozaka. The ritual held at the otabisho consists of presenting heisoku (offerings) to a stone tortoise modeled after the tortoise used as a mount by Myōken, the female kami of the shrine (saijin). According to one theory, it is said to be a festival celebrating the meeting at the otabisho of the female kami of Chichibu Jinja (Myōken, Myōken-miya) with the male kami of Bukōsan, a mountain rearing over the Chichibu basin.

— Mogi Sakae
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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