Monday, January 7, 2019

Pagan Festival Shout Out: Koshogatsu

Today, January 7th, Japanese celebrate Koshogatsu: "Known as the "little new year", it is a Shinto rite honoring Goddess Izanami, partner of God Izanagi. They created Nature and the Kami.

While people pray for personal fortune and happiness on New Year's, koshogatsu celebrations were - and still are - all about a bountiful harvest for the upcoming year. In the center of the celebration stands the Shinto kami (deity) Toshigami, referring to a kami that visits during the New Year's holidays. 

Their appearance promises a good harvest throughout the year and to honor these kami, Japanese families build special altars in their homes. Those are then often decorated with “shimekazari,” purifying laid rice straw ropes, as well as mochi in the shape of a mirror called “kagamimochi,” in addition to sake, and salt.

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