- Title: JAPAN: Millions flock to temples and shrines across Japan to celebrate New Year
- Date: 1st January 2013
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 1, 2013) (REUTERS) FIRE BURNING AT SENSOJI TEMPLE AS BELL RINGS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE RINGING BELL POLICE REMOVING MAN FROM TEMPLE VARIOUS OF CROWD OF PEOPLE ENTERING TEMPLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE THROWING MONEY INTO TEMPLE DONATION BOX FOR GOOD LUCK MONK PRAYING BEHIND DONATION BOX MORE OF MONK PRAYING POLICE MOVING CROWD ALONG INSIDE TEMPLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE TEMPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 23 YEAR-OLD UNIVERSITY STUDENT KANEKO YASUNAGA, SAYING: "Rather than wishes, I've got worries for the New Year. People say the government is moving to the right, so I'm concerned about what will happen. We've got to take care." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 20 YEAR-OLD STUDENT HIROYA OMI, SAYING: "I want to get a really cute girlfriend this year." MOON ABOVE TEMPLE MORE OF PEOPLE WAITING OUTSIDE TEMPLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING BY LANTERNS AS BELL RINGS MAN RINGING BELL MAN STANDING BY FIRE AS BELL RINGS
- Embargoed: 16th January 2013 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVA8A11EXVT2GH36BRZLZS8DSQO7
- Story Text: Japan rang in the New Year at temples and shrines across the country on Tuesday (January 1).
At the stroke of midnight the bells at Sensoji temple in downtown Tokyo began to boom out 108 times, a Buddhist tradition representing each of the sins of mankind.
About three million people are expected to visit this temple alone during the first three days of 2013 for "Hatsumoude," or the first shrine and temple visits of the new year, when people go to pray for good luck for the coming year.
Over the past 12 months Japan has changed its government and territorial spats with its neighbours have shaken regional ties.
Some temple-goers said that was at the top of their minds as they offered prayers and votive donations at the temple.
"Rather than wishes, I've got worries for the New Year. People say the government is moving to the right, so I'm concerned about what will happen. We've got to take care," 23-year-old student Kanako Yasunaga said.
But others had more prosaic requests.
"I want to get a really cute girlfriend this year," said 20 year-old Hiroya Omi, another student.
About 94 million people visit shrines or temples across Japan during the first three days of the new year, according to the National Police Agency's last available nationwide survey in 2009.
In Japan Christmas is a normal workday, and all energies are focussed on "Oshogatsu," the new year period extending roughly from December 29 to January 3.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None