Hōnen Matsuri in Japan Date in the current year: March 15, 2016

Hōnen Matsuri in Japan Hōnen Matsuri is an annual Japanese fertility festival celebrated on March 15. “Matsuri” is the Japanese world for a holiday or festival, while “hōnen” stands for “prosperous year”.

Hōnen Matsuri celebrates the blessings of a bountiful harvest and all manner of fertility and prosperity. Festive ceremonies take place in many localities, but the best known festival is held in Komaki, a city located just north of Nagoya.

The celebration starts at 10 a. m., but the main event takes place at about 2 p. m. The main event of Hōnen Matsuri is a phallic procession through the city's streets. A 2.5 meter long wooden phallus is carried from one shrine to another in a mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine).

The procession starts at Kumano Sha in odd-numbered years or at Shinmei Sha in even-numbered years and ends at Tagata Jinja. Before, during and after the procession, Shinto priests say prayers and impart blessings.

The festival's main events also include a parade of ceremonially clothed participants and Shinto priests playing various musical instruments. People eat holiday foods, drink sake and buy phallus-shaped souvenirs that symbolize fertility. The celebration concludes at around 4:30 p. m.

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Hōnen Matsuri, fertility festival, religious holiday, folk holiday, holiday in Japan