Every year, Shiranuka Ainu Association organises three festivals where traditional rituals are held: “Hometown Icharupa Festival” in August, “Humpe Icharupa Festival (Whale Festival)” in September, and “Shishamo Festival” in November. During these events, “kamuy-nomi (prayer to the fire goddess)”, “nusaonkami (prayer at the altar)”, “icharupa (memorial service of the ancestors)”, and votive dances are performed while a commemorative dinner is held.
- Three major festivals of Shiranuka Ainu -
Hometown Icharupa Festival
In this festival, offerings are made to console their spirits, prayers are given for the safety of the people, and a vow is made to pass down the Ainu culture to the next generation.
Humpe Icharupa Festival
Based on the folktale of the humpe (whale), this festival is the place to affirm the importance of living in harmony with nature and to thank the gods for the blessings they offer; a commemorative ceremony for the ancestors is also held.
(for safety at sea and a good catch)
Based on the folktale of the shishamo smelt, this festival is the place to affirm the importance of living in harmony with nature and to thank the gods for the blessings they offer; prayers are also made for the safety of shishamo smelt fishing and for a good catch.