2013 / First fire rite: Buddhist celebration on New Year’s Day

20121226 Koyasan Fire Ritual2

Goma (fire ritual) service at Koyasan Buddhist Temple (Cultural News Photo)

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 Tuesday, Jan 1 by chanting mantras and throwing tiny sticks into a fire.

From January 1 to 3, the Koyasan Temple will be open for visitors from 9 am through 5 pm 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.

Koyasan Buddhist Temple is located at 342 E. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 624-1267, www.koyasanbetsuin.org.