So we break the ground on a new residential complex at the university.
This involves a shinto ceremony that goes like this.
First call gods/ spirits/deities, broonies down to us by using a shinto priest who sings. Then ask for forgiveness for the disturbances that needs must light on the construction of a big building. This is mimed by representatives of the construction company cutting down a tree with wooden axe crying Ha! Ha! Ha! digging a hole with wooden hoes crying Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! driving in a stake crying Hong! Hong! Hong! This takes place in front of an elaborate shrine and we stand up, sit down, bow a lot. I just follow what everyone else does and try to look as little stupid, red faced and ugly as I can. It is very hot in the marquee. The poor priest looks to be in some dscomfort in his magnificent but thermally efficient robes. He fixes this by walking around the site sprinkling rice, salt and bits of paper.
After some laying of branches on the altar, the priest then tells the gods/ spirits/deities,broonies, that they can go home now.
Please excuse my lighthearted account. The ceremony was very dignified and moving. I was delighted to be asked to attend.
Thanks to Juliette for the photos.