NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/6/28

あばれ祭り Abare-matsuri Abare-Matsuri Festival

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As its name, Abare-Matsuri (rampage festival) indicates, the purpose of this festival is to rampage about. The festival is held on the first Friday through Saturday of July every year at the vanguard of Noto Kiriko Festivals, which are held all over Noto Peninsula from August through the mid-September. On Friday night, when the large torch set up at the wharf of Port Utsushi is kindled, people carrying lanterns called “Kiriko” or Mikoshi (the portable shrine) start running around it. On Saturday, while people carrying Kiriko lanterns parade around the town, the portable shrine is first thrown into the sea, then into the river near Yasaka Shrine at night, and finally into the fire of the large torch burning in front of the shrine. As this rampage represents enshrined Susanoo no Mikoto, who is known as a destructive deity, it is said that the more violently people act, the more fortune they will get. This festival originates in an old episode that occurred in the years around 1665, when an epidemic attacked Noto region, the local people invited Gozu Tenno (ox-head deity) from Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto and held a big religious ceremony to pray for calming down of the epidemic. As the epidemic was calmed, the delighted local people of Noto visited Yasaka Shrine carrying Kiriko lanterns.

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