1 October – 27 November 2022・Location: Hayama Shrine (早馬神社), Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture...
The annual traditional ceremony and rite of passage for children aged seven, five, and three!
Autumn is here, which means that the Shichi-Go-San traditional festivities are also upon us! In this tradition, which literally translates as "seven, five, three," families with three and seven year old girls as well as three and five year old boys pay a visit to their local shrine to pray for the health and development of their children. Traditionally celebrated on November 15, the Hayama Shrine keeps the festivities going from the 1st of October all the way to the end of November.
This custom is believed to originated due to the high frequency of children never making it past childhood due to diseases and other ailements of times past. Shichi-Go-San, was therefore a way to celebrate the milestones of children's development as they aged and survived through their childhood. But why were the milestones decided at the ages of seven, five, and three? Well there's all kinds of theories out there behind these numbers that I unfortunately don't have the time do delve deeper into (some of which find their roots in ancient times when odd number ages were considered auspicious). I'll let you research this further if it so prickles your curiosity!
Written by Catrina Sugita
Writer & 2022 Editor-in-Chief