Jun 23, 2012

summer festival in japan

Những lễ hội tưng bừng vào mùa Hạ ở Nhật

The Top 12 Matsuri of Summer
Japan is the Land of Gods and they are the reason cities and towns pulse with festival excitement. The intense spectacle and traditions of these 12 renowned matsuri draw millions of people each summer. (Matsuri)

1.Nebuta Matsuri
More than 3.5 million people attend this energetic festival. Legend suggests that nebuta comes from nemuri (sleepy). Blaming the devilish sandman for the drowsiness that plagued them on hot summer days, Aomori citizens originated this event to banish their tormentor. Spectacular Japanese-paper floats, more than 5 meters high, are stunningly illuminated from inside.

2. Chagu-Chagu Umakko
Once essential for farming, horses were treated as family members and lived under their owners' roofs. To mark the end of the planting season, 100 costumed umakko (young horses) parade 15 kilometers from Takizawa's Soozen Jinja shrine to Morioka's Hachimangu shrine. Prayers solicit a bountiful harvest and the well-being of horses and owners. "Chagu-chagu" is the sound of horses' bells.

3. Akita Kanto Matsuri
One of northern Japan's three largest festivals, this one also seeks to expel the sandman. Kanto refers to a dramatic bamboo framework supporting 46 lanterns. Akita locals show off their balancing skills by carrying kanto (more than 12 meters tall) on their palms, forehead, shoulders, or waist. Each town has its own kanto motifs symbolizing longevity and good harvest.
4. Yamagata Hanagasa Matsuri
Though only 42 years old, this "flower hat" festival is one of summer's four largest in northern Japan. Cheering "Yassho, Makasho" to the rhythm of drums, 10,000 costumed men and women dance in procession behind richly decorated floats as they wave bamboo hats decked with red paper safflowers

5. Narita Gion Matsuri
For 300 years elaborate floats, carts, and portable shrines have paraded through Narita for this event. Participants perform folk music and dance on each float. Festival highlight is the sobiki parade on the third day when floats are pulled up the steep slope to the temple's main hall. Visitors who want to help pull may borrow a hanten kimono (free) at Narita Kanko-kan.

6. Sanno Matsuri
This is one of Tokyo's three biggest festivals. In the Edo period (1603-1867) the shogun made an annual appearance because Hie Jinja shrine was built to insure divine protection for his castle. Today a long procession of palanquins, floats, dancers, singers, and musicians parades from Hie Jinja shrine through the central districts; parishioners dress as characters of the Heian period (794-1185).

Nebuta Matsuri   , Chagu Chagu Umako  ,  Akita Kanto