The traditional event – Shichi – Go- San

priest and her

Hi there. I am Masa again!

Our family celebrated  Shichi-Go-San ceremony for my seven years old girl last Sunday.

Shichi -Go-San literally means Seven-Five-Three in Japanese and we Japanese have a traditional event to celebrate their children’s healthy growing up at their three, five and seven years age. (Usually three years old and seven years old for girl and five years old for boy.)

I have two daughters aged seven and four. So our family had an elder daughter’s Shichi-Go-San festival at local Shinto shrine near our house.

We appreciate Shinto’s God for her safely growing-up and also pray her healthy growing up in the future.

The ritual is taken place as follows.

Shinto priest

First of all, a Shinto priest says some words of appreciation to God for my daughters growing up and asks to watch her in the future. Then he performs a purification ceremony for my daughter. And finally she sips some sacred sake (non-alcohol), then this traditional ceremony has finished.

local Shinto shrine

My daughter dressed up with kimono, a Japanese traditional clothing. She was a bit nervous during ceremony. But when Shinto priest gave her a book and candies, she returned to herself. (The first picture above)

November is a season of Shichi-Go-San festival, so if you visit shrines in Japan, you will see many kids in Kimono walking hand in hand with their parents. They are all so pretty. When you find them at shrine, don’t hesitate to call to them “Omedeto gozaimasu” which means congratulations. And usually they are happy to pose for your camera.

In old days children who are younger than seven years old are supposed to be belonged to God. Because children died easily by disease in infant medical situations. That kind of thought  may comfort parents who lost their children. “Our child went back to God’s home, not just died…”

So children older than seven are regarded to be a member of normal human beings’ world. Now I big welcome my daughter coming to our world!

Sometimes bitter yet life is enjoyable. Our life is worth to live. Let’s enjoy living together for a while, my little girl!

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