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fire festival in aomori

I want to introduce a Japanese splendid festival.
At first the festival that I want to introduce is "fire Festival NEBUTA" of Aomori.

Cooperation of an image offer and explanation.
(Association of Aomori sightseeing convention)
(A publication image forbids copying and reproduction without permission.)

NEBUTA Festival is held every year until from 2 to 7 on August.

There are many theories about the origin of the Nebuta Festival. One is that it is said to have originated after the subjugation of rebels in this district by "General TAMURAMARO" in the early 800's. He had his army create large creatures, called "Nebuta", for frighten the enemy.

Another theory is that the Nebuta Festival was a development of the "TANABATA" festival in China. One of the customs during this festival was "TORO" floating. A "toro" is a wooden frame box wrapped with Japanese paper. The Japanese light a candle inside the "TORO" and put it out to float onto the river or into the sea. The purpose behind this is to purify themselves and send the evil spirits out to sea. "TORO" floating is still one of the most impressive and beautiful sights during the summer nights of the Japanese festivals. On the final night, "toro" floating in accompanied by a large display of colorful fireworks. This is said to be the origin of the Nebuta Festival. Gradually these floats grew in size, as did the festivities, until they are the large size they are now.

Today the Nebuta floats are made of a wood base, carefully covered with this same Japanese paper, beautifully clolred, and lighted from the inner part with hundreds of light bulbs. In early August the colorful floats are pulled through the streets accompanied by people dancing in native Nebuta costumes, playing tunes on flutes and drums.

Many Aomori citizens are involved in the building of these beautiful floats. The Nebuta designers create their designs, patterned after historical people or themes. Development of themes takes place immediately after the previous year's festivities come to a close. Consequently, it takes the entire year, first in the development, then in the construction of the Nebuta float.

One of the reasons for the popularity of the Nebuta festival is the free participation of many Aomori citizens. The sounds of the Nebuta drums and bamboo flutes inspire people to prepare costumes and begin practice of the Nebuta dances. As the beginning of the parade is signaled, "HANETO"(dancers) join hand-in-hand, and begin their journey through the streets of Aomori. These dancers, colorfully arrayed in Nebuta garb, welcome audience participation. Feel free to join in a circle and enjoy the festivities!

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