Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine is near Kasuga-Shrine and Gods of those two Shrines are relative.
|Ichi-no-torii...this is the first gate of the Kasuga-Shrine and parade or horse racing or yabusame are taken place on this approach to Kasuga-shrine|
People with torches and scent purify the road in the dark on the 17th zero hour and the God of Wakamiya moves to the Otabisyo(a temporary place) from Wakamiya-shrine . I heard this is a mysterious ceremony.
|Otabisho....the temporary palace of God of Kasuga-Wakamiya|
From the noon, maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine or kids on horses or people wearing costume of various periods parade in the city and go to the Otabisho. Yabusame (horseback archery) by kids or horse racing are taken place at the approach to the shrine.
|Maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine on horses|
|They(kids) performed Yabusame|
|Chigo...children take part in a festival of a shrine|
|Horse racing...they raced to the Otabisho.|
|They are players of traditional musical instruments maybe.|
|Attendants of the procession of daimyo(Japanese feudal lord)|
|Yabusame by a kid...he shot an arrow toward the target and the target of the board was broken into two perfectly.|
This is also the ceremony of the old traditional performing arts.
There is a lawn stage in front of the temporary palace at Otabisho. Maidens in the service of a Shinto shrine dance Kagura( a kind of dance) or people who paraded dance Dengaku,Seino,Sarugaku,Bugaku(these are a kind of dance) on the lawn stage outside.
These old traditional performing arts are dedicated to the God Wakamiya for about 8hours.
There were the big earthquake and tunami of the eastern Japan and also the heavy flood in Oku-Yoshino-Kumano in this year. So they dedicated also another two dances to the God to pray their quick recovery . Those two dances were performed after an interval of 300 years.
|Sarugaku...this developed into Noｈ or Kyougen|
|They danced very slowly with gagaku|
While I was watching it's getting colder and colder. Though I had a kairo(pocket body warmer), I gave up to see them around 8:00 PM. I heard it continues till around 10:30PM. I wanted to see this.( this was taken with youtube in 2008)
After all performance were over, God of Wakamiya goes back to the Kasuga-Wakamiya-Shrine by on the 18th zero hour.
People in Yamato (Nara prefecture) get together and take place this festival,wishing that God of Wakamiya is pleased to see their performances . And they pray the rich harvest of rice and people's happiness.
According to Kiyomizu-temple in Kyoto, a word reflects social condition in this year in Japan was 絆（ties, bond ). Big earthquake and tunami or radioactive contamination brought big harm. We saw the people's ties, cordiality, love in the mess.
Though there are a lot of difficult problems in Japan, I wish they would be resolved faster and well.
and also I wish you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
This post is linked our world Tuesday