Jun 30, 2010

Gion-Matsuri Festival

JUL.1 - JUL31

Gion Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan.
This festival actually started in 869, when a priest of Yasaka Shrine led a procession of people through Kyoto in an attempt to pray Shinto gods to stop the plague raged at the time. The plague soon ended but this event became the most popular festival in Kyoto.
Most exciting part of the festival is Yoiyama ( eve of the Festival ) from 14th - 16th,and Yamaboko Junko ( The Grand Procession ) on 17th, but many other ceremonial rituals are held throughout July.

I prefer Yoi-Yama!

Why don't you go with your friends wearing Yukata?

Yoi-Yama ( Eve of the Festival ) and Byobu Matsuri (Screen Display)
JUL.14 - JUL.16

All the 32 Hoko and Yama(floats)are elaborately decorated with lanterns, and musicians wearing "Yukata", (summer Kimono) play rhythmical "Gion bayashi" music on the floats.
Also private houses along the streets open their doors to show their family treasures such as "Byobu (traditional folding screens)" to the people passing by.

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