The Shoreisai 松例祭 festival is one of the most prominent yamabushi rituals of the year. It is held on the 31st of December every year. Everybody is welcome to see the ceremonies.
It corresponds to the end of the "winter retreat" (fuyu no mine iri 冬の峰入り), one of the four seasonal Yamabushi training. During the winter retreat, one chosen practitioner of Mt. Haguro, the Matsu-Hijiri 松聖, retreats for 100 days in the mountain, waiting for the spirit of the goddess of cereals Ukanomitama to inhabit his body. The role of the Matsu-hijiri is to protect the holy spirits of the grains and pray for the harvests to be plentiful the following year.
On the night of the 31st of December, the Matsu-Hijiri and the other Yamabushi of Mt. Haguro engage in several purifying ceremonies that last until the following day to bless the crops.
Because it is dangerous to take Haguro's stairs under the snow, we advise you to get off the bus or to park your car at Hagurosan Sancho 羽黒山山頂.
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