Abare Festival

Hi from Meg.
I've been to Ushitsu of Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa for Abare Festival.
The festival held over 2 days in the town of Ushitsu and has been running 350 years.

My friend in Tokyo and I always say "see you at the festival" 
every time when we meet and leave. 
Finally here we are at the festival!

The festival is very popular with locals.
All locals participate this festival and it is a chance to get drunk all day and 
be violently crazy in the name of culture and tradition.
Visitors can see Kiriko and Mikoshi floats being carried through the streets.
Kiriko is about 7 meters tall and extremely heavy lanterns carried by up to 30 people.
Mikoshi is a wooden portable shrines but also heavy.
We were asked to join Kiriko carrying and of cause we were in!!
We got Matsuri costumes from locals and we were cheering "yassa!" chants and 
carrying Kiriko through the streets at the first night.

For the second night, we enjoyed watching them.
The second night was more energetic.
Mikoshi joined second night, chanting, parading and damaging it 
as best as they can until midnight. 
We could not believe that we have never seen people are damaging Mikoshi. 
It is a portable shrine!!  

OMG, men throwed Mikoshi into the river, jumped in after it 
and continued chanting under a large burning torch as the sparks 
and ashes fall onto them below. 

Finally they took Mikoshi to the main shrine and concluded around 4am following morning.

It was a great, crazy Matsuri with local people and the most fierce festival 
that I've ever seen.
I'm sure I'm going to join them again next year!!


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