Major festivals in Japan throughout the year

The festival is a part that creates a unique feature of Japanese culture. In a country where more than 300,000 traditional festivals are held every year, there is always excitement and crowed everywhere. And here are the major festivals in Japan during the year you should join if you visit this country.

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Snow festival in Sapporo

Sapporo Yuki Matsuri, taking place in the first half of February, is a big festival in Japan for the much-awaited year. The festival stems from the appearance of six snow statues built by local students in 1950. Today the snow festival in Sapporo has become an international competition with many giant snow sculptures that carved on ice.

Gion Matsuri Festival

Held in July at Yasaka Shrine, the Gion Matsuri is one of the major festivals in Japan throughout the year. First took place in 869 as a religious ritual to repel the epidemic spreading throughout Japan at the time. The main event was the Yamahoko Junko float procession activity on July 17 and 24 on the streets of Kawaramachi and Oike.

Awa Odori dance festival

Awa Odori is considered the largest traditional dance festival in Japan. With the participation of hundreds of dancers regardless of men, women and children performing and dancing on the central route of Tokushima city. They dressed in summer cotton kimono, put on straw hats and moved to exciting tunes. Awa Odori dance festival lasts from 12 to 15 August, attracting more than one million Japanese tourists to participate.

Kanda festival

The Kanda Festival held at Kanda Myojin Temple is a representative of festivals dating back to the Edo period. This is considered one of the biggest festivals in Tokyo and takes place in May of the odd year. There will be plenty of exciting activities throughout the festival, the main one being held in mid-May with a portable temple procession going through many streets. Aiming at giving blessings and luck to the local residents.

Nebuta Festival

A big festival in Japan held on August 2 to 7 in Aomori Prefecture. People prepare lanterns made of washi paper and designed in the shape of Japanese gods and historical figures and painted eye-catching colors. There will be thousands of musicians and dancers taking part in the parade from dusk till late evening. Aomori Nebuta Festival attracts millions of tourists taking part in each year.

Danjiri Kishiwada Festival

Having a history dating back to 1703, Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri in Kishiwada City, Osaka is a major festival in Japan very famous. Danjiri is a wooden float in the shape of temples and pagodas representing each different locality of Kishiwada. Some weigh up to 3 tons and need thousands of people to move in the competition of drawing the buoy. Daniwiri Kishiwada Festival held in mid-September, early cool autumn, many people come to see it, so it is very lively.

Tenjin Festival

Among the major festivals in Japan, Tenjin Matsuri is also very important. Originating in the 10th century, the current Tenjin Festival takes place on July 24-25 at the Tenmangu Shrine in Osaka. Highlights include a procession on the ground and in the river with fireworks on the second day of the festival.

Yosakoi festival

The first Yosakoi festival was held in 1954 in Kochi. Yosakoi is a unique dance style with a combination of traditional dance on modern music. Dancers include men and women of all ages and classes. The festival takes place in mid-August.

Tanabata Festival

On the 7th and 7th lunar month every year, Japanese people wait for the Tanabata festival, also known as the Star Festival. Activities to celebrate the meeting between the god Orihime and Hikoboshi in Japanese culture. Traveling to Japan on this occasion you will encounter thousands of large colorful paper decorations all over the street. Born in the late 8th century, the Tanabata festival has become an indispensable Japanese summer event.

Hakata Dontaku Festival

Visiting Fukuoka in the summer, don't miss the Hakata Dontaku festival - a Shinto ritual held on May 3 - 4 in Fukuoka City. About 40,000 thousand people are divided into hundreds of small groups, dressed in colorful costumes, eye-catching and performing through the streets. Three special items that you will see a lot during the Hakata Dontaku festival include the flower hat, mask, Shamoji spoon.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is one of the biggest festivals on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Shinto ceremonies are dedicated to Kushida, Hakata, and Fukuoka temples and were formed in 1241. The festival lasts from 1 to 15 July. Yamakasa consists of two ornately decorated carriages, Kazariyamakasa - only decorative and Kakiyamakasa - procession.

Karatsu Kunchi Festival

Referring to the big festivals in Japan, it is indispensable for Karatsu Kunchi - an autumn event in Saga, Kyushu that is very famous. "Kunchi" is a ritual of god procession to express gratitude for the rich harvest. The festival takes place from November 2 to 4, with the appearance of 14 huge Hikiyama carrying many shapes such as fish, dragons, lions, etc. Each procession marches along the streets and shouts a slogan. "Yoisha, yoisha" amid the cheers and encouragement of everyone. Karatsu Kunchi Festival has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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