Lucky Star twins Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi have secured their own festival in commemoration of their birthday (7th of July), and an event on an impressive scale it is too. Naturally enough, the event takes place in 鷲宮町 / Washimiya, Saitama, and the now apparently given over to Lucky Star 鷲宮神社 / Washinomiya Shrine features heavily. Lucky Star Shinto, anyone?
Here is some English commentary on a rather good event report (and plenty of pictures of Lucky Star Shinto, as well as merchandising, in operation):
Some local enterprises appear to have been given over entirely to Lucky Star, and the occasionally wet weather seems not to have dampened the spirits of pilgrims.
Shinto is not really known for failing to embrace changes in the times, nor an opportunity for revenue generation. So even the shrine participates; the hempen ring (茅輪 / Chinowa) is a sanctified portal for the use of supplicants.
These are the votive pictures (絵馬 / ema – originally of a horse in case you are wondering about the kanji) offered up at the shrine to ensure the blessings of the gods. As you can see, one the things these supplicants won’t be asking for is talent in illustration or design – they seem rather accomplished.
The ema have been accumulating at the shrine for some time (they are not just presented at special events); this is just one of six sides to the hanging place, now groaning under the weight of 2,865 of them (a month ago).
Apparently, there was a case of some ema being stolen – insidious blasphemy! Many Miyuki ema were stolen, it is said. Desecrate not the holy places.
You’ll notice this one is celebrating the OVA.
Misao – best character in Lucky Star?
You may be familiar with itasha – well, behold, itatako (ita-kite): the first tournament is held. If this catches on expect kite shops to start opening in Akihabara soon. More on it.
There is an “Ore no Yome wo Sagase!” event/game/treasure hunt (“Hunt for my Bride!”).
I’m afraid I lifted many of the photos as explanation seemed necessary, but please by all means pay a visit to the source: Kaze ni Fukarete. There’s plenty more there. Of particular interest are the details on how the Lucky Star ema are made using a silk screen process (also here and here), in case you fancy making your own, so you may want to take a look at those pages, but the author has been documenting all aspects of the Lucky Star town (I expect calling it this aggravates those locals who aren’t making money hand over fist) for some time now, so there is plenty to interest.