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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hana-bai matsuri
A festival for the successful raising of silkworms, occurring on January 6 at Hakusan Shrine in Shiratori Town, Gujō District, Gifu Prefecture. Also called the Sixth Day Festival. A serving platter is placed before the altar and rice, mochi (rice cake), fruits and such are placed as offerings on it. Then, the Sansankudo ("Three-Three-Nine-Times") ritual in which three sips of sake are taken three times from a cup in celebration is performed. After expressing appreciation for the sweets, they are distributed to the participants of the festival. A dance called Ennnen-no-mai in the old ta-asobi style is performed next. After the dance, worshippers scramble for bamboo hats (kasa) hanging from the ceiling of the hall of worship (haiden). The name of the festival, which literally means "grabbing the flowers festival," is taken from this custom. The hats are decorated with five varieties of artificial flowers: cherry, camellia, poppy, chrysanthemum, and peony. These artificial flowers are offered on the altar, for the protection of the silkworms.

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