Last Saturday, August 15, 2015, I went deep into the mountains of rural Kyoto, to experience the Hanase no Matsuage (花背の松上げ) fire festival. The festival started at 8.00 pm at the Kasuga shrine where the sacred fire was transported to the torches that where going to be used. The shinto priest then led a solemn march to the venue where the fire was shared with the participants of the fire festival. Everyone walked with they're flaming torches to the area were the matsuri was to be held. First, the more than 1000 torches were lit on this gras field in front of the river. Then the real fun began of trowing small torches called agematsu (上松) towards the huge tōrōgi basket (灯籠木), trying to set it on fire! Finally several torches hit the basket and it didn’t take long to be ablaze. The climax to all this was when the flaming basket was dropped to the ground in a huge ball of fire. This drew cheer and applause from the many spectators!
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Hanase no Matsuage, Japan, Kyoto, Obon, matsuri, お盆, 花背の松上げ