Every year from January 13th to 15th, Misogi festival takes place in Kikonai town, which is located east of Hakodate and one-hour-by-car distance. About Misogi festival, please refer to my former post of February 21st, 2011.
It is really cold this winter and I was concerned about how cold it would be for the four boys who did the purification ceremony.
In the photo above you see the four half naked boys(they are called "gyoshusha" which means trainees) are going ahead to the beach to purify the icons of deity in the sea. According to the announce, it was 8 degrees celsius below zero at 9:00 in the morning and the temperature of the sea water was 2 degrees. Later an article of the local paper said it was minus 4.4 degrees at the time of the boys went to the sea. Please enlarge the photo below and see the four while dots in the sea. They are boys' heads. Noooh, I can't believe it!
The last photo shows that the boys who purified the icons comes back to the shore and purify themselves again in front of the spectators on the temporally set up stage. After purifying themselves, one boy sprinkled water to the spectators though the water was a little. If you are sprinkled the purifying water, it is said that your wish for the year will be realized.
How great the four young boys! It was really impressive!
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too. 函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。