empty_mirrors (empty_mirrors) wrote in little_details,

What happens to Shinto/Buddhist food offerings

Modern day Japan. Urban but not any specific city, if that makes a difference.

Search terms: Japan Shinto/Buddhist shrine offerings food distribution disposal (plus any number of other things I can't remember any longer)

This is possibly a stupid question, but I've been googling for hours and can't find an answer. As I understand it, food is a common offering at Shinto and Buddhist shrines in Japan. Some of it, especially at festival times and such are either considered blessed and taken away again for use later on or eaten during the ceremony.

What I want to know is, what happens to the rest? The smaller everyday offerings. Is it left for a certain amount of time and then cleared away? Is it left overnight? Is there a routine or procedure? Does it vary depending on the type of food or the shrine? I know it would be considered incredibly bad manners/luck/wrong to steal food from a shrine, but is it just left in the open where it would be possible to steal it? My MCs are supernatural so I don't think they care much about the morality of it, I just need to know the logistics.
Tags: japan (misc), japan: food and drink, ~religion: buddhism, ~religion: shinto

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