Mochi Lifting at Daigoji Temple in Kyoto
Daigoji Temple in Kyoto is a Buddhist temple founded in 874. Located in Daigo Mountain, the site area is
more than 2 million square meters and the temple is designated as Japan’s National Treasure and UNESCO
World Heritage. Many people visit there to see their beautiful cherry blossom in spring and red maples in
autumn but we can say their festival Godai-Rikisan and Mochi Age (rice cake lifting) is the most famous occasion of the year.
About The Festival
It is the largest event for the festivav called Godai-Rikison Ninno-e, known as “Godairiki-san“, which is held on February 23rd every year. Monks are empowered by Godai Myo’o (5 great powers) and pray for peace, health and happiness of the country and people. It is said that the fesitival started in 907 during Emperor Daigo’s era.
More than 1,000 monks gather and stay in a hall for a week until the day of the festival to thoroughly pray with paper charms. The pre-event ceremony is open to public and visiots can join the pray too. On 23rd the festival day, 100,000 visitors join the ceremony and get the paper charm and they spot the charm at entrance of their stores and houses for a year.
The Pre-event Ceremony
The following is a small paper charm for visitors to carry it in their wallet or purse.
Photo: Discovery Japan
And Mochi Lifiting is held during the festival. It is called “Mochi age riki hono” (dedication of power by lifting a rice cake). It is a competition for how long participants can lift big mochi; 150kg for men and 90kg for women. They dedicate their power and pray for their health and happiness. A woman in pink won to carry it for more than 5 minutes 30 seconds this year. Wow, well done!
If you are confident for your strength, this can be a good festival to join!