The Yamaho parade can be said to be the most eye-catching item in the Gion Festival now, but in the original Gion Festival, the Shinko Festival is the focus of the entire Gion Festival. In the so-called "Shinko Matsuri", the gods will take a mikoshi (O Mi Ko Shi mikoshi), depart from Yasaka Shrine and arrive at the Yasaka Shrine Imperial House. The Kanko Matsuri returns to Yasaka Shrine from the Imperial Travel Agency.
Not only the Gion Matsuri, but other festivals will also have the Shinko Matsuri. This is a bit similar to the feeling of Mazu going on a tour. The gods traveled on the mikoshi, showing their power and exorcising the plague. There are three shrines in the Gion Festival, namely the Nakagoza shrine, with a phoenix on the roof and a hexagonal appearance. The deity is 樲田槫美 (くしいなだひめのみこと), the god of the west seat, the roof has a phoenix, the shape is octagonal, and the riding god is the eight-pillar Yuko God (やはしらのみこがみ).
These three shrines will only appear in front of everyone during the Gion Festival, and they are usually put away and not displayed.
Before the Yamahoko parade, the three mikoshi will be washed in Kamogawa and placed on the stage of Yasaka Shrine. One night (the time depends on the annual Gion Festival schedule), the Yasaka Festival is held at Yasaka Shrine. The Yasaka Festival is a ceremony to invite the gods from the shrine to the mikoshi. During this process, all the lights at Yasaka Shrine will be turned off, and the light will be restored after the gods enter the mikoshi. It is a very sacred process.
In both the Shinsato Matsuri and the Hoonok Matsuri, there will be many men carrying the mikoshi, and they will shake the mikoshi vigorously. It looks really similar to the mikoshi mikoshi in Taiwanese temple fairs, but the mikoshi of the Gion Matsuri is very large and weighs twice. It takes a lot of people to carry the mikoshi and shake the mikoshi.
The three shrines move to the Imperial Palace through different routes at the Shinko Festival, and stay at the Imperial Palace for a week. In the afternoon after the Yamahoko parade of the Housai Festival, the three deities will take different routes to return to Yasaka Shrine. The mikoshi will be put away and wait for the next year's Gion Festival. When the lucky festival is over and the gods return to Yasaka Shrine, the lively Gion Festival will come to an end.
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