Thursday, October 26, 2017

Karigane Festival 2017

This was the craziest festival I have attended in Japan.  Let me start by saying my family's home burned up when I was almost six years old and in the first grade, so I have a healthy respect for fire.  This festival was scary and dangerous, yet so exciting.  I was mesmerized by the fire and couldn't look away.  Maybe this is what a moth feels like.  

This is one of many Youtube videos posted about this festival.  

I met my two friends in Fuji City, where they live and the festival was held. These were our first views of the festival - looks like a normal festival with lots of people and food tents.

In a big field there were three poles with baskets full of wood and fireworks, with a tree and streamers on top.  There were firepots at ground level with wood wrapped with rope in the firepots to catch on fire.  When the wood was on fire, people swung lit wood around and threw the fire up, trying to land in the basket and catch it on fire. The baskets had fireworks in them that shot off when the baskets caught on fire.  The people throwing the fire had helmets on. The rest of us were behind a plastic fence. There were guys with fire hoses on each side.

I took about a million photos, but they are not so good.  

Many participants threw fire trying to light the baskets on the poles, one pole at a time.  The first was the lowest pole.

The second was middle height pole. The circles of light in the photos are the participants swinging the fire around. The streaks of light in the air are the fires that have been thrown up.

The third was the highest pole and closest to where I was.  

The photo below looks like the basket is on fire, but it was actually a fire in the air between me and the basket.

And yes, I am planning to attend this festival next year! Anyone ese want to attend?


Anonymous said...

Wow Pamela,what amazing pics my friend,I have never seen anything like this before,thankyou for sharing xx

kiwikid said...

Yes please!!! 😆😆 I haven't seen anything like this before either. Just Guy Fawkes fires and fireworks.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Well, I am at a loss of words, lol. Beautiful pictures for sure. But what a scary and dangerous festival! Are they celebrating fire? For sure it was a sight to see!
xx, Carol

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

What a fantastic festival! I do love fireworks. You've got some beautiful photos here. Thank you for sharing them.

Ann said...

What a delight! I love festivals that start during the day with art and food and extend to nighttime fireworks. These scare me a bit. I see the fun of increasing the basket height but, if it's like all the festivals I've been to, people become more inebriated as the evening wears on. Is there a sobriety test before they throw torches?

Queeniepatch said...

Fire is mesmerizing and often feature in Japanese festivals. I believe in Shinto religion is is seen as having purifying power.

Brigitte said...

Lately I saw a short TV documentation about this festival. It was very interesting. Great pictures, Pamela.

Vireya said...

That looks like an amazing experience!

Leonore Winterer said...

That looks and sounds really cool! I'd be a little suspicious at any festival requiring people with hoses standing at the ready, though.