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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Chimaki shinji
A festival held at the Hikawa Jinja in Ōmiya City, Saitama Prefecture, on June 5. The ritual consists of offering rice cakes (chimaki) during the Tango no sekku (Boys' Festival). People collect thatch plant leaves from a nearby marsh, arrange them into pieces of equal length, then wrap the rice cakes with them and furthermore wrap these in straw. The two layers of wrapping are said to resemble Yin and Yang (onmyō, onyō). Along with other offerings (shinsen), thirty chimaki cakes are presented to the main shrine (honsha), five to each of the three sessha (auxiliary shrines), and twenty are presented to the massha (branch shrine). Depending on whether destined for the main shrine, auxiliary shrines, or branch shrines, the number of cakes wrapped in straw varies. The cakes are said to have the power to ward off evil spirits and epidemics. The original festival day was the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.

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