Church Headquarters held its traditional new year event, the Sechi Festival, at the Home of the Parent from January 5 to 7. During this event, followers and visitors come to the Home of the Parent to partake of zoni: a hot, clear broth with greens and charcoal-grilled rice cakes that were offered to God the Parent at the New Year’s Day Service at Jiba. This tradition dates back to the days when Oyasama was physically present. This year once again, many church groups and families returned to the Home of the Parent, and a total of about 74,000 people participated.
The festivities started at 10:00 a.m. on each of the three days. After offering their first prayers of the year at the Main Sanctuary, individual and group pilgrims were treated to a celebratory sip of sake at the gate. They were then guided to one of six venues to savor zoni.
To support this event, approximately 5,000 people engaged in hinokishin—including resident officials and staff members of Church Headquarters, students of Shuyoka (the Spiritual Development Course) and Tenrikyo schools, and members of the Students Association Hinokishin Corps.