Kannazuki (神無月, also Kaminazuki or Kaminashizuki)

November 6, 2013 

KannazukiKannazuki

It is already November and getting cold, how is everything going with you? In Japanese old style calendar, November is actually October called Kannazuki. There are some theories as to the etymology of Kannnazuki, but today we will introduce the most popular theory in Japan.

In old October, the eight million gods around Japan leave their shrines to travel to Izumo Taisha, located in Izumo province (Shimane Pref.), to hold meetings and there is no god in other provinces at the time. Therefore, old October is called “Kannnazuki” (Month without Gods). In Izumo province, where many gods gather, old October is called “Kamiarizuki” (Month with Gods).

Every year in Izumo, some shrines hold Kamiari-sai (Kamiari Festival) in old October and a lot of people participate this festival. This year, Kamiarisai will be held in mid-November. If you are interested in this festival, it’s a good idea to join it!

 

11月になり気候もすっかり寒くなってきて、いよいよ冬が本格的に始まりますね。今年の11月は日本の旧暦で10月であり、神無月とも言われています。語源は諸説あるようですが、一番有名な説は八百万の神様が出雲大社に集まり、その間神様がお留守になることから神のいない月、神無月と呼ばれるようになったという説です。神様の集まる出雲(現在の島根県)では、旧暦10月のことを神有月と呼びます。毎年出雲のいくつかの神社では、旧暦10月に神有祭を開いており、沢山の方が参加するそうです。今年の神有祭は11月中旬に開催されるようなので、興味のある方はご参加してみてはいかがでしょうか。

[Photo and Reference]  Izumo Oyashiro HP – Kamiarisai:  http://www.izumooyashiro.or.jp/kamiari/top.htm