On Thursday the children thought that Christmas had come early. It was the annual pilgrimage around the neighbourhood to pray and receive sustenance in return. In Japan this is called "Osettai" and it originates from when in the past the pilgrims used to walk very long distances and were given offerings of food along the way. In our tiny community there are only 4 houses each year that do it and so the walk around them is not so much of a pilgrimage as a short saunter, and the bag of goodies is usually pretty small. However, this year when I went to pick up the children from school I discovered that the area around the school was also being kind to pilgrims so we took a few detours and filled up our bags a little more. Because my husband is currently in charge of the "old peoples' welfare" division at the city office he is well known to all the people in the area and therefore we got extra snacks for him too. The first picture is of just the snacks that I received..... The second photo is of the children sorting their snacks into different categories. I have no idea why they felt the need to do so, but it filled in 20 minutes or so and meant they had very little time to actually eat any of them before tea. We are set for snacks for the next few weeks!