Summer festivals of Japan
The summer season begins in Japan after the end of the rainy season, somewhere in the beginning of July, and this time of grace since ancient times decided to celebrate a variety of festivals, some of which have survived from ancient times to the present day. Here are some of the most exciting summer festivals in Japan. which if possible should visit:
The City Of Kyoto. Festival “Gion”
Festival “gion” begins the first of July, and lasts almost the entire month, the official closing ceremony held on July 29, and the peak of the festival falls on July 17th – on this day is the main festival procession.
Festival “gion” is held for about 1140 years and is an ancient tradition centistoke Yasaka Shrine. This is one of the three major festivals in Japan. along with the “Kanda” held in Tokyo and “Tenjin” held in Osaka. Festival “gion” — it is a peculiar appeal to the gods with a request to cast out “evil spirits” and save the villagers from epidemics and diseases. The most vivid and memorable event of the festival — the passage through the Central area of Kyoto floats. The floats were colorful stretcher on two staves, made in the form of mountains and surrounded by long swords and lances. The weapon plays the role of an exiled evil spirits. The procession is called “Yamahoko”, and takes place on the 17th of July.
The City Of Osaka. Festival “Tenjin”
The festival is held all over Japan and dedicated to the patron of science and learning – God Sugawara Michizane . he is revered throughout Japan, but the biggest show “Tenjin” is held in Osaka on July 25. Festival of the same age Tenmangu temple, built in Osaka in 951. In ancient times, it was an ancient ritual, the rules of which the river from the temple were floated “sacred spear”. The place where the spear will hit land, proclaimed “the sacred resting place of the gods”, and were conducted in solemn preparation for their meeting. Sent the spear represents the sorrows and diseases that float away on the river, and can whole-heartedly and in good health to meet the summer. Now the main celebration takes place on July 25. Residents of Osaka first in a colourful carnival procession pass 4 kilometers to the river, they are “mikoshi” – colorful replicas of temples, and the ringing of bells and traditional music, are immersed in a variety of boats and begin to descend the river. Boating people having fun, drinking and singing, soar up in the sky hundreds of fireworks. Those who remained on shore, as actively participate in the festive fun – work mobile tents with refreshments and alcoholic beverages. Around creates an atmosphere of casual fun. So the people of Osaka meet the long-awaited summer.
Festival “Nebuta”. Prefecture Amory
Festival “Nebuta” is held in the Japanese province of Aomori from the 2nd to the 7th of August and is considered one of the most ambitious, along with “Kanto”, the festival of lanterns in Akita Prefecture and “Tanabata”, a lovers ‘ festival in Sendai. In the middle ages this North-Eastern region of the country was called “Michinoku”, which means “somewhere very far away.” Indeed, people in the then capital of Kyoto, 1000 years ago they were unknown and wild lands. Today the North-Eastern region of Japan is one of the major agricultural regions of the country. It consists of 6 prefectures, each of which is known for its delicious products. Yamagata Prefecture is famous for cherries, Akita – delicious rice, Iwate – garlic and onion, Aomori apples, Miyagi – fish and animal farming. In this beautiful nature area that attracts many tourists and residents of Japan. Festival “Nebuta” began as a celebration of separated lovers, which was originally born in China. Called the Tanabata festival, and today is celebrated throughout Japan, it coincides with another landmark celebration “Obon”, a day of remembrance of ancestors. Festival “Tanabata” is a meeting of the summer and purification from disease during the hot period of the year. Interesting ceremony, during which the Japanese write their wishes on paper. Attach them to tree branches floated down the river or burn, delivering, so their wishes to the gods. At the same time and everywhere, there are ceremonies where a miniature boats are paper lanterns with candles inside, a ritual called “Toro-Nagashi”. According to a legend this ceremony is able to protect from diseases and bring a rich harvest. The main action of the festival is the daily procession around the giant lantern “Nebuta”, which is itself a complicated paper design in the form of historical characters, samurai and dragons. The procession marked departure “Nebuta” and other, smaller lights in the open sea swimming, which is accompanied by beautiful fireworks.
The festival in Aomori is over three hundred years, and gradually it grew into a national Japanese holiday. which involved increasingly sophisticated and huge floats with paper lanterns. Even had to accept some limitations on height and width of structures, taking into account peculiarities of modern roads.
The festival of lanterns “Kanto”. Akita Prefecture
Kanto is a special bamboo pole at 12 meters long, on which are mounted 46 paper lanterns with candles inside. The weight of this pole, about 50 kg. For the kids there is a 5-pound pole with 24 lanterns, length of 12 meters.
Grand procession of the lamplighter passes through the city, ritual cleansing it from enemies and diseases. The people who are trusted to carry the “Kanto” – skilled professionals, demonstrating the amazing acrobatic stunts. They impose a heavy poles on palm, head and forearms.
In Japan there are regular competitions for such artisans, performances which take place at the festival.
Surprisingly, until now the structures are lit exclusively by candles, not light bulbs that requires the maximum concentration – paper lanterns, and the possibility of ignition from a gust of wind is large enough. Above the seats, for security purposes, there are special nets, and acrobats have to show my skill to the spectacle was successful.
The City Of Sendai. “Tanabata” Festival of separated lovers
Festival “Tanabata festival” is held in Sendai from the 6th to the 8th of August. Giant poles, more than 10 meters in height, are installed throughout the city, they are decorated with thin strips of paper with cherished wishes. Each district competing among themselves in beauty and size festive poles. The holiday came to Japan from China.
Festival “Awa-Odori” Tokushima Prefecture