Tenrikyo Church Headquarters held the annual Sechi Festival between January 5 and 7 in the Home of the Parent. As many as 77,000 people returned to Jiba during the period and enjoyed zoni—roasted rice cakes served with greens in a clear broth—while feeling the parental love of Oyasama, who had never wanted to let people “leave without being filled with joy,” and the sincerity of many volunteers who welcomed the pilgrims at event venues with warm hospitality.
The rice cakes served at the event were part of the New Yearʼs Day Service offerings. Brought into the Main Sanctuary on December 30, about 40,000 kilograms (44 U.S. tons) of round rice cakes were cut into small pieces on January 4 to be used in the zoni.
The event was supported by thousands of people—including Church Headquarters staff and students attending Shuyoka (the Spiritual Development Course) and nearby Tenrikyo schools as well as members of the Students Hinokishin Corps from all over the country—who attended to various hinokishin tasks such as acting as venue guides, serving returning followers, and roasting the rice cakes.