- Encyclopedia of Shinto
- Chinka-sai (hana shizume matsuri)
Encyclopedia of Shinto
詳細表示 (Complete Article)
|カテゴリー1：||5. Rites and Festivals|
Chinka-sai (hana shizume matsuri)
"Festival for appeasing the spirits of the blossoms". Also called "hana shizume matsuri." One of the rites specified in Jingiryō. In ancient times, the Department of Divinities would make offerings to the shrine attendants hafuribe of the Ōmiwa and Sai Shrines in Yamato, having them perform the festival. It was believed that when blossoms scattered in spring, epidemic gods (ekishin) set out in all directions to spread illness. Chinka-sai was held in the third lunar month with the purpose of preventing this. Although it seems that similar observances were carried out among the general public, official rites were performed the two shrines of Ōmiwa and Sai. The Ōmiwa Shrine was not only highly valued by the imperial court, but it had also been originally created in order to ward off illness-causing demons. The Sai Shrine, this was because Sai was the shrine where offerings were made to the "violent manifestation" (ara-mitama) of the Ōmiwa deity. The involvement of the Department of Divinities in the festival ceased in the medieval era, but the festival has continued to be observed at shrines down to the present day.
— Namiki Kazuko