Church Headquarters held its traditional new year event called the “Sechi Festival” at the Home of the Parent from January 5 to 7.
The traditional festival, which has continued from the days when Oyasama was physically present, attracted 49,246 people to the Home of the Parent over the three days. This was an increase of more than 17,000 from last year when the event was held for the first time in three years after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sanctuary precincts were filled with pilgrims who came back to Jiba with their church members and families.
The event began at 10:00 a.m. on each day. People who offered their first prayer of the year at the Main Sanctuary made their way to one of four venues, where they enjoyed zoni, roasted mochi rice cakes served with greens and a clear broth. They also received a pack of sliced mochi rice cakes at the exit of each venue on their way out.
During the three-day period, approximately 4,500 people engaged in hinokishin to support the event—including resident officials of Church Headquarters, heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses, staff members of Church Headquarters, students of Shuyoka (the Spiritual Development Course), and students of Tenrikyo schools. Their hinokishin tasks included serving zoni to the visitors, acting as venue guides, roasting mochi rice cakes, and distributing sliced mochi to pilgrims.