Hassakusai : Mt. Haguro’s Annual Yamabushi Celebration 八朔祭

The Hassakusai (八朔祭) ceremony is a day when all Yamabushi practitioners who participated in the Autumn retreat (秋の峰入り – aki no mine iri) gather in Mt. Haguro. They partake in various rituals in front of the Hachiko Shrine (蜂子神社), dedicated to the legendary prince Hachiko, considered the founder of Mt. Haguro and Dewa Sanzan.

During the ceremony, there are several rites involving purifying fire held throughout the night. These rituals are dedicated to the esoteric Buddhist god of fire, Aguni. The fire is believed to burn away human stains and sins, allowing individuals to return to Mother Earth as ashes.

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