The Mutsuki Shinji Ceremony is dedicated to Kamo Shrine on February 14th, that is, the 14th day of the lunar calendar.
This ceremony is a type of ritual in which one prays for abundant crops and peace in the world. In the morning after worshipping at the shrine, worshippers form a line centered by a mikoshi, or portable shrine, and march towards the ceremony site (Mutsuki Shinji Ceremony Hall). Once they reach the hall, rites such as myojin mairi and aburaoshi are held. Then, young children perform dances such as sasara and sasaiya on a stage, which is constructed by placing a panel of wood on four straw bags of rice.
The Dengaku odori begins with one person dancing, and then continues with other performances including the one with four dancers holding binzasara percussion instruments and wearing hats adorned with flowers. Then, during taasobi (prayer for the abundance of rice crops during the year), large drums are placed on stage. With each chant about tilling rice performed by two priests playing the drums, an accompanying song is sung by others. The chanting while drumming and the singing are repeated many times.
Said to have a 700–800-year history, this ceremony retains the entertainment aspects of medieval times, and the dances of the children who wear colorful clothing are rich with the feeling of an ancient rite.