Kannazuki and Kamiarizuki: the annual Japanese gods meeting in October
October corresponds to the Kannazuki period, which means “the month with no deities” in Japanese. Indeed, all the gods of the country move to Izumo-Taisha, in Shimane prefecture, one of the most important shrine of Japan with Isejingu shrine, for an annual meeting.
In the Izumo area though, this period is called “Kamiarizuki”, which means “the month with gods” in Japanese. The reason is easy to understand: all the gods are reunited in Izumo!
When does the gods’ conference start?
The conference starts between October 11th and October 17th. This period also has a specific festival: “Kamiari matsuri” (which literally means in Japanese the “The festival with Gods”)
What are the Shinto gods speaking about during this annual meeting?
In the Shinto religion, there is an important God called O-Kuninushi. This meeting is the occasion for him to meet his children, to hear their report, and to speak about the future.
When do Shinto gods return to their original region?
Gods return to their shrines at the end of October or November 1. Some gods come back to their shrine on December 1st if they live far away from Izumo-Taisha. When they return, a festival called "Karasade Matsuri” is held.
Do all the Shinto gods go to the conference?
Actually, there are some gods who don't go to this annual meeting: Ebisu, Konpira, Kou, and Dosou are absent from the meetings. They have to protect Japanese people while the other gods are attending the meeting.
On October 20th, the Ebisu Festival is held. On this day, offerings (food and alcohol) are made to Ebisu, and people are praying.