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Japan Festivals and Events


Coming of Age Day National Holiday
Wakakusayama Hill, Nara, January 15, 2000
In the evening twilight, a trumpet signals the setting ablaze of Wakakusayama Hill in Nara Park. Fireworks streak to the sky from a nearby slope. The this hill, which more than ten centuries ago marked the amicable end to a long dispute over the boundary of two major temples in spectacle reminds one of the historic burning of the turf on Nara.


Miyoshi Shrine, Akita City, January 17, 2000
Dozens of "Bonden", symbol of the Creative God, are carried by young men, who vie to be the first to reach the shrine. A similar festival is observed at Yokote in Akita prefecture on February 17.


Yokote, Akita Prefecture, 3rd weekend of February
"Kamakura" is popular pastime for children in snowy areas. They make snow houses called " Kamakura " in which they enshrine the God of Water and hold parties.


Shunsetsu Festival
Kobe City, Nara Prefecture, Mid February
This is actually the Chinese New Year Festival which is held in Kobe City's Chinatown. Two dragons dance around, each one of the dragon is manipulated by over 20 poeple in this ancient celebration.


Saidaiji Temple, Saidaiji, Okayama Prefecture, 3rd February, 2000
A multitude of partially clad young male devotees elbow and shoulder one another for a pair of sacred wands thrown to them in the darkness in and around the temple.


Lantern Festival of Kasuga Shrine
Kasuga Shrine, Nara, February 3
More than 3,000 lanterns, either standing in the precincts or hung from the eves of the buildings, are lit, presenting an enchanting sight.


All Japan, February 3 or 4
According to the lunar calendar, " Setsubun "(Bean-Throwing Festival) marks the last day of winter. People crowd temple grounds to participate in the traditional ceremony of throwing beans to drive away imaginary devils, shouting "Fortune in, Devils out!"


Snow Festival
Sapporo, Hokkaido, 5th - 11February, 2000
Elaborate figures sculptured in snow are lined up along the main thoroughrfare of Sapporo. Similar festivals are held in various districts of the island including Asahikawa, Mombetsu, Abashiri and Obihiro. These area also have their own local color.



Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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