Miyamairi

When the Japanese baby is about one month old she or he is brought to a Shinto shrine. This traditional ritual is known as the miyamairi (in Japanese “shrine visit”). It is performed as sort of thank you to the deities. The baby is traditionally carried by the grandmother or mother. She ties the cord around the neck. The baby is usually dressed in special white clothing. There are also those dressed in kimono.

During 5 or so minutes long ritual the Shinto priest prays for the baby's health and happiness. The priest recites the prayer which includes mentioning the baby's name, names of the parents, the family address and the date of baby's birth.

After the prayer parents and grandparents approach the altar and bow. They also put tamagushis on the altar. A tamagushi (in Japanese “jewel skewer”) is a traditional Shinto offering. It is made of a sakaki-tree branch decorated with piece of paper, silk or cotton.

Miyamairi
Miyamairi

The ritual ends with drinking rice wine from a red wooden cup. The family also usually gets some gifts. The family photos are made in front of the temple. Understandably the whole ritual is not free. The fee per baby is upto ¥ 10,000 ($ 111.88).