The wooden sticks in the foreground are Japanese prayer sticks. The petitioner stands in a line with other petitioners in front of a table with monks seated in their orange robes. The petitioner then tells the monk what prayer they want on the prayer stick and the monk inscribes the prayer offering onto the prayer stick. The sticks are accumulated and at the high point of the celebration of the holy day, they are offered up to heaven in the form of sacred flame. There are different ways of offering prayers and this is one of them.