On New Year’s Day in Japan, it is still a ritual that people visit a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine to offer a prayer.
Here in Los Angeles, Koyasan Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo receives several thousand visitors during three-day-period for many years.
Koyasan Temple holds Goma fire ritual ceremony on the New Year’s Day every year according to the Esoteric tradition of Buddhism.
Bishop Taisen Miyata of the Koyasan Temple will officiate the Hatsu-Goma (first fire rite) at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan 1, 2015 by chanting mantras and throwing tiny sticks into a fire.
From January 1 to 3, the Koyasan Temple will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. for Hatsu-mode (first offering).
Omikuji (fortune telling slips), Hama-ya (good luck arrows), Oma-mori (amulets), Ema (picture tablets) and consecrated Ofuda (charms) will be available to sell for three days.
December 31 is called O-misoka day. The last day of each month is called Misoka day, so that people came to call the last day of the year O-misoka.
The last night of the year on O-misoka day is called Jo-ya night. Jo-ya night means “the night to remove last years’ evil.”
On the lunisolar calendar, a new day started with sunset, so that people thought Jo-ya night was the beginning of a new year.
At temple in Japan , bells to ring out the old year are rung at midnight on O-misoka day . The bells are rung 108times from midnight to morning of New Year’s day.
Koyasan Temple holds a Jo-ya service on Dec. 31 at 4:00 p.m.
Koyasan Buddhist Temple is located at 342 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 624-1267, www.koyasanbetsuin.org Facebook: Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple