Dog Day – Inu no hi [戌の日]
Inu no hi [戌の日] meaning dog day comes every twelfth day according to the twelve zodiac signs (3rd, 15th, 27th of January in 2014 are all Dog Day.) that pregnant women visit the shrine/temple for praying for a safe birth on a Dog Day in their fifth month of pregnancy.
Praying for safe birth – Anzan Kigan [安産祈願]
Dogs are believed to have easy delivery with little complication, Japanese expectant mothers and their husband (sometimes mother-in-law) visit and pray at shrines on a Day of the Dog [Inu no Hi] in hopes of having dog style birth.
Visiting shrine/temple for praying for a safe birth is called Anzan Kigan [安産祈願].
There are many shrines/temples that specialize in easy and safe birth all over Japan.
3 Popular Shrines & Temple for safe pregnancy and easy childbirth
- Suitengu Shrine [水天宮] in Tokyo
- Shiogama Shrine [塩竈] in Nagoya *image above
- Nakayama dera Temple [中山寺] in Hyogo
Another Pregnancy Traditions
In the 5 month of pregnancy, Japanese mothers-to-be start wearing bellyband [Hara obi / 腹帯] to protect their abdomen. It fictions as support the uterine muscle and abdominal muscle and then ease back pain and also keep the belly warm.
*Image left: Maternity bellyband marked as blessed and purified from Anzan Kigan