Happy New Year!
I'm now walking the approach to Kashihara-Jingu Shrine,Nara.
So many people are here!
At the beginning of the year,everyone visits Shrines or Temples to make a petition to the gods in Japan.
It is called "Hatsu-Moude".
This is the Main Hall of the Shrine.
What a big votive tablet!
Can you see big snake on it?
Because in Japan,this year is a "snake" year,according to Chinese astrology.
Snake has long been regarded as "sacred animal" in Japan,like many other countries,
so this animal has long been an object of faith,even now.
This old lady is praying eagerly for God.
Maybe she's praying for the well-being of her family,or be healthy,or success in business,etc.
Unlike Christianity,our great concerns are whether this God is beneficial and responsive to us or not.
We offer money (coins) to a deity before praying,and in return,we expect God to benefit us!
Benefit is important,yes,our motives are not so pure,compared to Christianity.We admit that :)
These are ritual arrows to drive away evils.
It costs $37.
They're tieing the fortunetelling slips.
This is dedication.This is Japanese custom.
What is it saying?
My fortune is "a little luck" this year.
It's saying "Stay calm,and wait for a good chance."
Well,it seems that I made a good start this year.
I wish you all happiness and joy this year! :)