Tori-no-Ichi something to crow about

Published: Friday, 15 November 2013 , contact Patrick on Facebook or Email.

If you are traveling to Japan this month, keep your eyes peeled for folks celebrating the Tori-no-Ichi.

The Tori-no-Ichi is held in Otori shrines on the Days of the Rooster during November. Days of the Rooster occur every 12 days in November, which means that the month of November has at least two or even three days of the rooster, depending on the year (three days are considered unlucky and are a sign that there will be many fires).

At this time, visitors go to the shrines and ask the deity of good fortune and successful business for a good harvest and abundant sales.

At least the shopkeepers are unlikely to be disappointed, as markets spring up around the shrines. The largest of these markets is in Tokyo’s Asakusa area, and hosts two hundred stalls which attract tens of thousands of visitors. Many festival goers will stop to buy a lucky kumade, which is a rake made of bamboo and decorated with masks and koban (old gold coins).

Traditionally, buyer and seller seal the deal with a ritual known as tejime, where they rhythmically clap their hands in harmony. If visitors are feeling peckish, they may also treat themselves to Yatsugashira potatoes.

But before you indulge in the delicious snack, take care, as it is said to aid fertility.

Tori-no-Ichi something to crow about
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