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Festival (Matsuri)

There are countless local festivals (Matsuri) in Japan because almost every shrine celebrates one of its own. Most festivals are held annually and celebrate the shrine’s deity or a seasonal or historical event. Some festival are held over several days. 

We are going to intoroduce you the list of some of Japan’s most famous festivals and celebrations.

Sapporo Snow Festival 札幌雪まつり
One week in early February 

Large snow and ice sculptures are built in the city’s centrally located Odori Park during the festival.

Omizutori 
東大寺お水取り
March 1-14

Omizutori is a Buddhist religious service rather than a festival, held every year at the Nigatsudo Hall of Todaiji Temple (東大寺二月堂). The most spectacular among its many ceremonies, is the nightly burning of torches on the balcony of the wooden temple hall.

Takayama Matsuri
高山祭
April 14-15 and October 9-10 

This festival is is ranked as one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals held in spring and autumn.

Sanja Matsuri 
三社祭
Weekend in mid May

The festival of Asakusa Shrine, the Sanja Matsuri is one of Tokyo’s three big festivals by the Ujiko (inhabitants of the neighbouring community) at Asakusa Shirne. Mikoshi are carried through the streets of Asakusa.

Kyoto Gion Matsuri 
祇園祭
July 

The festival of Yasaka Shrine, Gion Matsuri is ranked as one of Japan’s three best festivals, featuring over 20 meter tall festival floats. Gion Matsuri takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō (山鉾巡行) on July 17. It takes its name from Kyoto’s Gion district.

Nebuta Matsuri 
青森ねぶた祭り
August 2-7 

The Nebuta Matsuri features festival floats with huge lanterns, some measuring more than 10 meters. The festival attracts the most tourists of any of the country’s nebuta festivals, and is counted among the three largest festivals in the Tōhoku region.

Kanto Matsuri 
秋田竿燈まつり
August 3-6 

Over two hundred long bamboo poles with up to 46 lanterns attached to each are balanced by the members of this popular festival’s nightly parades.

Awa Odori
阿波踊り
August 12-15 

The Awa Dance Festivalis held from 12 to 15 August as part of the Obon festival in Tokushima, Shikoku prefecture. Groups of choreographed dancers and musicians known as ren (連) dance through the streets, typically accompanied by the shamisen lute, taiko drums, shinobue flute and the kane bell. Performers wear traditional obon dance costumes, and chant and sing as they parade through the streets.

Nagasaki Kunchi 
長崎くんち
October 7-9 

The festival of Nagasaki’s Suwa Shrine, the Nagasaki Kunchi features Chinese style dragons and floats shaped like ships.

Jidai Matsuri
時代祭り
October 22 

The Jidai Matsuri Festival of the Ages is a traditional Japanese festival held on October 22 annually in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of Kyoto’s renowned three great festivals, with the other two being the Aoi Matsuri, and the Gion Matsuri.

Chichibu Yomatsuri
秩父夜祭
December 2-3 

Chichibu Yomatsuri (which means Chichibu Night Festival) is a festival of Chichibu Shrine which has a history of more than 2,000 years. This festival is considered one of Japan’s top three festivals to feature floats, the others being Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri.

1月 28th, 2012 | 未分類 | posted by guesthouse_u-en _staff