The Jijigure Festival begins on May 5th at Sumiyoshi Shrine.
The festival starts with making a Mikoshi, or portable shrine, made with tree branches. Green cedar leaves and camellia foliage are fastened into a rectangular shape atop a pound sign shaped structure made of logs to form the main body, and then a large amount of branches and leaves are tucked on top (first layer, hornbeam; second layer, beech). The Mikoshi is completed by putting in a bouquet of flowers (magnolia kobus; iris; and kerria) in the center. The three main gods are believed to reside in these flowers. There is then a Mikoshi performance held in the hall of worship, and then there is a procession of the Mikoshi. It passes through a grove of a giant zelkova trees adjacent the Torii gate of the shrine. While singing a song of worship that goes, “Chiyo, chiyo, chiyo no hana no miyako no…” the mikoshi is then carried throughout the village.
In the end, people scramble to get the flowers which are a sign of good luck for the year.
The festival is said to have originally been a ritual performed when relocating the shrine from the forest in Kamibikuni to its current site.