Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tōka Ebisu

Tōka Ebisu is a festival held at several shrines in Japan. Ebisu is one of the seven gods of good fortune and associated with monetary success in particular. January 10th is the main festival day with the 9th called the Eve of Ebisu and the 11th is known as the “Last Helping of Luck”. People pray for happiness and business success at this festival. In some places like Osaka this event has occurred since the Edo Period. This is celebrated mostly by purchasing fukusasa (lucky bamboo fronds), good luck mallets, and other lucky charms as well as coin talismans which are placed on peoples kamidana (household shrine). Since Ebisu is thought to be hard of hearing, people shout "we've come" and bang on the shrine walls either bare handed or with the mallet they purchased. In some place colorful palanquins carry geisha and celebrities through lantern-lit streets.

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