Holidays Around The World for Jan. 24: Jizo Ennichi

Jizo Ennichi

24th day of each month
Tradition calls for Japanese Buddhists to honor Kshitigarba Jizo on the 24th day of each month with a ritual known as Jizo Ennichi.
Kshitigarba Jizo is a Bodhisattva, or “Buddha-to-be,” who is highly regarded by Buddhists in Japan as well as in China, where he is known as Ti-t’sang.
Among Japanese Buddhists, Kshitigarba is known for helping children, women in labor, and the wicked. He is also believed to participate in ushering in the souls of the faithful when they die. He is frequently shown in monk’s robes, holding a staff with six rings in his right hand (symbolizing the six dimensions of existence in the realm of desire) and an orb or pearl in his left hand whose symbolic meaning is not known. His statue is most often found outside temples, where he can guide both the dead and the living. Shrines in his honor are set up along roadsides, since he protects travelers as well.
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 418

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