Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Carpe Diem #846 Chichibu Night Festival

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are running towards the end of our Third anniversary month in which we visited all wonderful Japanese Festivals and read wonderful haiku by our featured haiku poets, Michael Dylan Welch, Cor van den Heuvel and Tom D'Evelyn. This month wasn't easy to make, but I hope you all enjoyed it very much. I did enjoy the making of it ... that's for sure.

Today we have to attend another wonderful Japanese Festival, Chichibu Night Festival. Let me tell you something more about this festival.

The Chichibu Night Festival (Chichibu Yomatsuri) is the festival of Chichibu Shrine in Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture, just 90 minutes from central Tokyo. It is held every year on December 2nd and 3rd, with the main action taking place on the 3rd. It has a history of more than 300 years.

Credits: Chichibu Shrine

The Chichibu Night Festival is considered one of Japan's top three festivals to feature floats, the others being Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and the Takayama Matsuri. Its floats are ornately decorated with lanterns, tapestries and gilded wood carvings and are accompanied by drum and flute music.
The festival's other attraction is its fireworks display, which lasts almost two and a half hours and gives you the rare opportunity to enjoy Japanese fireworks during winter. Additionally, the streets are lined with stands selling festival foods and amazake (sweet rice wine) to combat the cold December night.

The main events of the Chichibu Festival take place on December 3. In the afternoon and early evening, the six floats are displayed in their respective neighborhoods and at Chichibu Shrine, before they are being pulled through the streets of Chichibu towards the city hall from around 19:00.

The climax takes place on the plaza in front of the city hall, when one float after the other is pulled up the slope onto the plaza and they all line up. From 19:30 to 22:00 a long, spread out fireworks display is held, which can be seen from many places around town. (Hereafter you can watch a video about Chichibu Night Festival)

Awesome! What a wonderful festival. Very festive and rare, because it's not a common use to have fireworks in autumn. Fireworks in Japan are more for summer according to several sources.

colorful flowers
enlighten the autumn night
almost winter

© Chèvrefeuille

I hope you all did like this episode and that it will inspire you to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 31st at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, our last CD Special of this anniversary month, later on. For now .... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. Haven't been around as much this month, Chevrefeuille, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate all the work you put into Carpe Diem. Learning about these festivals has been inspiring, and the special features have been very helpful. Bravo -- and thank you :)