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Torch the Floats Festival

Event Dates

March 20, 2019

(Weekend in Mid-March)

Dates and times are subjects to change without notice. Check with the official organizers before making travel arrangements.

category: Festivals
Major City: Kyoto
Event is: Free

This is a wild festival in which men dress up in wild costumes wearing make-up and dance around as floats are toched and set ablaze! The "Torching" usually takes place later in the evening but sometimes the people are so excited they start torching them earlier and then start dancing around them. The festival is called "Float Festival" (in Japanese; "Sagicho Matsuri" 左義長まつり).  A "Float" is usually a 2-3 meter high wood and straw aparatus which on top is a bamboo pole and lots of red strips of paper.  We say "usually" because every town comes up with all kinds of wild ideas to make these floats and especially make them to burn baby burn!  The day starts with the groups of float makers and their floats at Himure Hachimangu Shrine (日牟禮八幡宮).  It is here where the floats are judged to determine the best.  Then a parade starts (some drinking...) with people yelling out in Japanese "Cho yare, yare yare!

Location: Himure Hachiman-gū Shrine

Address: 257 Miyauchicho, Omihachiman, Shiga. 523-0828

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