4 May 2011

Aoi Matsuri - Purification

Mao-chan, portrait
Kyoto 2011

Sweet little Mao-chan. I hope to see her again during the main procession on May 15.

Aoi Matsuri is the festival of the 2 Kamo shrines, Shimogamo and Kamigamo.  It was once believed that Aoi flower (hollyhock) would protect against natural disasters. This is one of the "big three" festivals in Kyoto with Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri.

The main event is a procession held on May 15 with several characters dressed in costumes from the Heian court.  One of the main character, the Saio-dai is a woman who represents purity. These pictures were taken during a "purification ceremony" (saio dai misogi no gi) at Shimogamo on May 4.

Saio-dai, portrait
Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto 2011

Women accompanying the Saoi-Dai
Kyoto 2011

1 comment:

  1. Aoi flower (hollyhock) really protect us from disasters, and i say that cause i have lots of hollyhock in my garden, and guess what! We had all kinds of accidents and disasters on our zone, but never has affected our house.