This year’s Hoshi Matsuri Prayer Service and Setsubun Ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 1:30 pm via Zoom. The Goma Fire Ritual will be performed during the service. The Soe Gomagi (wooden stick) with each person’s prayer/wish to the Buddha will be prepared by Reverend Mimatsu and burned in the Goma fire as we pray for our wishes to come true. The Hoshi Matsuri omamori will also be prepared by Reverend Mimatsu and blessed during the service.
The Setsubun Ceremony, which will be held following the service, is a traditional Japanese ceremony to cleanse and drive away the demons of misfortune by throwing fuku mame (good luck beans) and inviting in good fortune by chanting “Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi ” (demons of misfortune out, good fortune in).
During the Hoshi Matsuri (Star Festival) prayer service, we pray to the stars for a healthy and safe year and to ward off misfortune in an unlucky year. The stars represent the moon, sun, planets, comets, and constellations whose movements according to Japanese astrology influences our lives and determine our fortune.
Here is the 2022 Hoshi Matsuri calendar produced by Koyasan’s headquarters on Mt. Koya, Japan. Based on the 2022 Japanese lunar year beginning on February 3, 2022, and ending on January 31, 2023, anyone born on February 3rd and after can find their fortune for the year by using their birthyear to locate their star.
However, a person born on January 1st to February 2nd is considered to have been born the year before and should use the previous year’s birthyear to locate their star. For example, a person born on January 20, 2002 should use the 2001 birthyear to find his / her star.