Raiho-shin rituals take place annually in various regions of Japan, on days marking the beginning of the year or a change in season. The rituals stem from folk beliefs that deities (the Raiho-shin) visit communities and usher in a new year or season. During the rituals, local people dressed in outlandish costumes visit houses, admonishing laziness and teaching children good behaviour. The head of the household treats the deities to a special meal to conclude the visit, and in some communities the rituals take place in the streets.
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