Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Setsubun [節分] prayers with Oka-san, & Oto-san

Last year I had a chance to attend the Setsubun celebration at the heian shrine with Jeff. But this year, I was not able to attend, since the festival was on a weekday, and setsubun is not (yet) included into the long list of Japanese holidays. Oto-san of Hanapot, had invited me to attend the setsubun celebrations with his family in the evening, so I accepted the offer. The plan for the day was to visit a couple of temples and then eat some special food.

After a busy day at work, I came back home a bit early and we started off by 7 in the evening for Dai-san's house (Oto-san's friend). On reaching Dai-san's home, we placed all our belongings and started for the temple. The first thing that struck me, there were a lot of shops selling things of the 60's that made even Oto-san nostalgic. They were selling things like Candy, Takoyaki, Fruits coated in candy, Candy with face in it, and all of it. It was as if I was attending an Indian festival, with a lot of shops lined along both the sides of the road, filled with Japanese people. Nice experience.

After reaching the temple (I didn't note the name ;-)) ... it was more fun. We made some special offering on that day. One such thing is shown in the photo. The inscription in the mud plate reads something like the following (from right -> left), Britto's family, made up of a 33 year old man (that is me), a 33 year old woman (that's shanthi), and a 2 year old man (boy, Antony Solomon). After lighting a few incense sticks and praying, we offered this plate along with some Mame, and some cash to the temple.

Shanthi was very busy filming the events, in fact she made a very long video of all the celebration. Please enjoy ...
video
Now, after visiting the temple shown in the video, we went to one more temple and prayed there for the ladies, and then walked back home.

After reaching home, we started ate maki-sushi, specially made for setsubun. We had to face North-east and eat it in silence, praying for a happy year ahead. I immediately grabbed the oppurtunity to pray for the global ecomony ;-) ...

(Both photos and videos captured using the Sony TG1 by Shanthi)

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