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Hatsumoude is the first visit of the new year to a shrine or temple. Many Japanese people visit a shrine or temple. They pray to gods or Buddha for the health and happiness of their family in the coming year. A Hatsumoude is usually performed between January 1st and 7th, which is based on ancient beliefs.[1]

Method of cleaning[change | change source]

You should clean your body before you pray. Chozuya is cleaning your body.

  • 1. Rinse left hand.
  • 2. Rinse right hand.
  • 3. Rinse mouth. (receive water to the hand)
  • 4. Rinse left hand again.
  • 5. Rinse ladle.

(You can't draw water into a ladle twice, so you must finish all the cleaning with one ladle of water.)

Method of praying[change | change source]

  1. Stand in front of the hall of worship.
  2. Nod lightly and sound a bell.
  3. Throw a money into an offering box softly.
  4. Bow twice.
  5. Clap hands twice.
  6. Put hands together and pray.
  7. Bow once.

History[change | change source]

Originally, hatsumoude had been called toshigomori.[2] It was a custom that the head of family stay in the shrine from night on New Year Eve to morning on New Year's Day for prayer. In Meiji period, toshigomori had divided into jyoyamoude that was done at night on New Year's Eve. Also ganjitsumoude that was done in morning on New Year's Day. So ganjitsumoude is the original form of today's hatsumoude.

References[change | change source]