By BISHOP YUJI MATSUMOTO, Koyasan Beikoku Betsuin of Los Angeles
Due to the influence of COVID-19, the annual New Year’s services have been forced to change.
Every year, many worshipers visit Koyasan Buddhist Temple for the first three days of the new year, and they request hamaya (lucky arrows) and omamori (amulets), and they pray for good luck in the new year by drawing their omikuji (fortunes).
However, since the temple will not be open for the public next new year, we have planned to set up a special place of worship in the outdoor parking lot to provide convenience for worshipers. In addition, you can now order the customary amulets or charms for the new year on the Koyasan Betsuin web page.
In order to avoid congestion of the new year as much as possible and not inconvenience our visitors, the month of January has been designated as New Year’s Month, so that visitors can purchase goods such as omamori and other items with peace of mind.
In addition, the Yakubarai Star Festival, held on the first Sunday of February every year, will now be deemed as Yakubarai Star Festival Month, and we will accept applications for the two first months from January to February.
All of us at the temple sincerely wish that everyone will have a safe and secure year in the midst of the coronavirus.
The following is Koyasan Betsuin’s year-end and New Year’s schedule.
Gratitude Toward the Past Year! Hope for the New Year!
This holiday season, our services will be different in comparison to previous years. We will maintain social distancing due to the influence of COVID-19 and try to make various arrangements to welcome as many of you as possible, so please check the temple website.
Year-End and New Year’s Services
From Dec. 20, we will commence taking orders for New Year’s merchandise placed on the temple’s website.
New Year’s Eve / Service Expressing Gratitude From 4 p.m. on Dec. 31
New Year Service – Shusho-e From 10 a.m. on Jan. 1
First Temple Visit of the Year From Jan. 1-3, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.