Japan Heritage SiteThree Mountains of Dewa

13Event of Great Torches at Shōreisai

Shoreisai Otaimatsugyoji

(Nationally Designated Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property)

The Shōreisai festival is held on New Year’s Eve at the conclusion of Fuyu-no-Mine, a ritual where two elder men from Tōge are chosen to become Matsuhijiri: Yamabushi who spend 100 days in the mountain praying for a successful harvest and peace on earth. Evil demons, represented by pine straw effigies, are overpowered in the Ōtaimatsu ritual, which takes place overnight from New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day.