Hakata Matsuri, Fukuoka
Hakata Matsuri, Fukuoka
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Posted in: Category: [Fukuoka]  

Dating back to the mid-thirteenth century, the festival marks the start of summer and has long been the highlight of Fukuoka's festival year. A series of purification rituals and festive processions leads up to the climactic high-speed race (oiyama) of festival floats that takes place at dawn on the final day. Each of the seven festival district committees selects a team of strong, healthy young men, who must then undergo purification and rigorous training. Participants cleanse themselves with sacred sand, receive an auspicious bamboo branch, and offer prayers for safety during the frenzied race. Each group constructs festival floats (yamagasa), which are of two types. Kazariyama are extraordinarily ornate, mountain-shaped floats adorned with dolls, ornaments, and lanterns and displayed around the city during the festival. Kakiyama floats are smaller but are still elaborately decorated with sacred pine branches and dolls representing heroes from legendary and historical tales. The seven kakiyama, each weighing about a ton, are raced through the city streets. more info: http://www.bookrags.com/research/hakata-matsuri-ema-02/

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