Saganaka Shrine New Year's Festivities
Mochibana at Saganaka Shrine
Saganaka Shrine is known for having a plethora of events that are held during the New Year, such as Mameyaki, Kayu-ura, Onda, Mochibana, and Mizudame. The series of events, with a focus on Onda, is a well preserved treasured piece of culture in the area.
Mameyaki – January 14th
Held in the shrine office, soy beans are roasted and the water situation for the year is forecasted based on how they pop open.
Kayu-ura – January 15th (morning)
Azuki bean congee is boiled, then stuffed into bamboo grass which is then used to predict the early, normal, or late ripening of rice crops.
Onda – January 15th
Four shrine guards and maidens perform a preemptive crop blessing ceremony by reciting ritual prayers and simulating the process of rice planting from the first ground breaking to the planting of shoots. Songs of old are sung during the ceremony and it is considered an important traditional performance art.
An offering ceremony of mochi on bamboo skewers shaped to emulate blossoming flowers to pray for a bountiful harvest.
A single pole is placed on an altar in front of the main hall and used to predict the amount of rainfall for the year by observing the length of the moon reflected on the pole. The old lunisolar calendar is referred to when performing this ritual.