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4 strangest festivals in Japan

Matome Culture & Lifestyle
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 23:50

The amazing diversity of Japanese festivals

It is said that there are more than 300 thousand kind of festivals all over Japan.

Most of the festivals are related to shrines and temples that has been the centers of cultures of each region.
There are 80 hundreds shrines and 50 hundreds temples in Japan. This massive number is the source of diversity of festivals.
Some of these festivals looks really strange, but in many cases, they have profound meanings behind its bizarre surface.

Let me introduce 5 of these strangest festivals in Japan.

Douso Jin festival / Nagano prefecture

Douso Jin Festival
Douso Jin Festival
Source: Naver
Douso jin festival is held at Nozawa Hot spring, Nagano prefecture every January.
Before this festival starts they make a big fake shrine building made with straws.

And on the day of festival, visitors would be divided into two parties.
One of them try to set fire on that fake shrine building, and another try to protect the building to be set on fire.

In the end of festival the protecter party would be overwhelmed and building will catch fire.
And visitors will enjoy to watch the building being burned.

The point of this festival is that the protectors are actually the unlucky man and women on this year.
This unlucky man and women is decided by a certain rule set by Shinto religion.

And these unlucky man and women try to protect the house but fail.
And their unluckiness will be burnt with fire. This is the whole idea of this festival.

It is such a magnificent view that whole big straw building being set on fire.

You can check out 4K YouTube movie below to check out how amazing this festival is.
Source: Youtube

Put a pot on the head festival

Put a pot on the head festival
Put a pot on the head festival
Source: Naver
In this festival, young kids at the age of around 8 put on a black iron pot on their head with Kimono clothing and walk around the city at 3rd of May every year.

These meaning of this is said that the sponser shrine of this festival used to offer vegetables to gods putting them into iron pot.
And at some point of history, custom changed and kids started to put iron pots on their head and walk around the city.

It is such a mysterious festival because its detailed history is still left unknown.
Source: Youtube
滋賀県米原市筑摩神社の春の例祭 数え年8つの少女8人が、狩衣姿に張子の鍋をかぶって、約300名の行列と共に渡御します。 12時ごろ 筑摩蓮沼会館で準備(公開) 14時ごろ 「筑摩のお旅所」を行列が出発 16時ごろ 筑摩神社の本殿に参進

Kanamara festival


ピンクの御神輿は、女装したおっちゃん達がわっしょいしてたみたいです(¬_¬)笑 http://t.co/gbPKPi1OqG
This looks obviously strange festival is called Kanamara festival. Unlike how it looks, this festival is serious.
This festival is held at April every year.
At Edo era this festival site used to be full of brothels, and shrine nearby started this festival wishing to prevent venereal disease from spreading.

These days many cosplayers started to visit this festival, but since this festival is holy event. Therefore too much cosplays are not welcomed.
【4K】金山神社の奇祭「かなまら祭2016」UtamaroFestival (2016.4.3)
Source: Youtube
2:00~ 巡行の説明が入ります。 今年も奇祭と言われるかなまら祭に行ってきました。 そこで出会った人たち、とっても楽しんでいて、 外国人の多さにも、そして何といっても、その明るさにびっくり! 3基の神輿「かなまら舟神輿、エリザベス神輿、かなまら大神輿」 の巡行の様子を撮影してきました。 「Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Kanamara Festival. We are now starting the parade. Please…
The Kanamara Penis Festival is one of Tokyo's most infamous festivals. Join the crowds for all things phallic, including the "Elizabeth Mikoshi".
Kanamara Penis Festival | Tokyo Cheapo

Silent Bon dance festival

Silent bon festival
Silent bon festival
Source: Sankei.com
Bon dance (盆踊り) is Japanese traditional dance festival that people dance along with plain Japanese tradition music hoping the peacefulness of their dead ancestors.

What is unique about this Silent Bon dance festival is that people dance along the music they listen to with their own earphones.
Therefore the site of this festival is so silent except for the sound of their steps.

This custom started as precautional measures to prevent noise problems. But soon they found out they can focus more on dancing with earphones on.

This festival is held at 8th and 9th of August every year at Aichi prefecture.
Source: Youtube
via YouTube Capture



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