Kyoto Shimbun 2014.3.3 News

Disaster Purification for Healthy Life
"Nagashi-bina" at Shimogamo Shrine

On March 3, the day of "Hina Matsuri," or Doll's Festival, the "Kyo no Nagashi-bina" ceremony in which people pray for their children's healthy growth, was held at Shimogamo Shrine in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto. In the fine weather that felt like spring had arrived, a couple in traditional Heian costumes gently released dolls, which were made of Japanese paper and used as substitutes for children, to float down the Mitarashi River which flows through the shrine precincts

Hina Matsuri is considered to be a Chinese custom in origin, during which disaster is cleansed away at the waterside. This annual ceremony is held by Kyo-ningyo Commerce-and-Industry Cooperative.

Despite a sprinkling of rain amid the clear weather, many tourists gazed at the event. Naoki Ueda, wearing a court costume, from Fushimi Ward, and his wife, Yuka Ueda, wearing "Juni-hitoe," or traditional multi-layer court costume, set small boats afloat on the river's surface and sent them off.

(translated by Galileo, Inc.)

Photo= A couple in traditional Heian costumes set small boats carrying dolls made of Japanese paper on the Mitarashi River (March 3, Shimogamo Shrine, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)