BLOGLiterary Calendar2021.05.13

"Moving baby spot-billed ducks" from Temple's Pond to Kamo-gawa River

The Aoi Festival (Kamo Festival) in May is known as one of the three major festivals of Kyoto.

They are the annual festivals of Kamigamo-jinja Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine) and Shimogamo-jinja Shrine (Kamomioya-jinja Shrine).

Following last year, the Jidai Gyoretsu (main procession) and the Roto no Gi on Saturday, May 15 were cancelled this year.

The "Misogi no Gi" by Saio-dai has also been cancelled, and only related Shinto rituals are held behind closed doors to the public.

Meanwhile, at this time of the Aoi Festival, there is a "procession" that cannot be canceled even due to the coronavirus.

It is the "Kamo no O-hikkoshi (Moving spot-billed ducks)" where parent and baby of spot-billed ducks move from the temple where they grew up to the east bank of the Kamo-gawa River.

The place where these spot-billed ducks live is' Yobo-ji Temple 'on Higashiyama Sanjo.

This spring, at dawn on Tuesday, March 30, 13 baby spot-billed ducks hatched in the pond in the temple grounds.

It all started with a pair of spot-billed ducksflew to the precincts of the shrine and laid eggs In 2005.

Since then, they have bred in the pond and have been warmly watched by temples and neighbors until they leave the nest.

This year, the "Kamo no O-hikkoshi (Moving spot-billed ducks)" was held on Thursday, May 13.

Of the 13 hatchlings, 12 successfully grew and moved to the Kamo-gawa River about 700 meters west of the pond.

It is said that there was no parent of spot-billed ducks in the early morning on this day, so the departure was done only with the baby spot-billed ducks!

It takes about 2 hours for 12 baby spot-billed ducks to cross the Kamo-gawa River under the supervision of neighbors and police officers.

Although there was no parent who was supposed to walk at the front, the line was more lively with many babies than usual.

Of course, when they cross Kawabata-dori Street with heavy traffic, vehicles will be closed to traffic.

It is a big event like the procession of the three major festivals in Kyoto where police cars are also dispatched.

From the pond where they were born and raised to the big river, the "new life" for the baby spot-billed ducks started.

By chance, Monday, May 10 to 16th (Sun) is Bird Week.

I hope all of them grow up safely in Kamo-gawa River.

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