Society | Jan 20

Ancient Ritual for Good Health: Kyoto's Serpent-Bite Blessing

KYOTO, Jan 20 (News On Japan) - The traditional 'Jazuna' festival, where locals are 'bitten' by a giant serpent made of straw to pray for a year of good health and freedom from illness, was celebrated Friday in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture.

The 'Jazuna' festival originated during the Edo period as a response to an epidemic. A giant straw serpent, approximately 6 meters long and weighing around 50 kilograms, was hung at the village entrance to ward off disease. It is believed that being bitten by this serpent ensures a year of good health. Accompanied by the sound of conch shells, the serpent visits each household in the community.

A local resident shared their hope: "I wish for everyone to grow healthy and strong. We prayed for good health and safety."

Finally, the 'Jazuna' serpent, suspended from a ginkgo tree at the shrine, will watch over the town for a year, ensuring that no epidemics enter.

Source: YOMIURI


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