recent Japanese festivals
On Matsuri in Nara

On Matsuri in Nara

There are very few festivals held in Japan in December, if you count out the Christmas shopping decorations and city light-ups. One remarkable exception is On Matsuri in Nara.

Held every year for almost 900 years, the festival is a peculiar storehouse for old customs and traditions. It is one of a few places where you can see the old forms of art like dengaku or sarugaku – predecessor of noh theater.

Peaceful festival of fight – Mori-no Matsuri in Shizuoka

Peaceful festival of fight – Mori-no Matsuri in Shizuoka

In the late Edo period, in 19th century, during the festival in a small town of Mori on Akiha Kaido road, a riot broke out. Since that time, the festival has been called kenka matsuri – festival of fight.

Once a very violent festival, since 1970s is actively promoting safety. And indeed it is safe, even despite litres of alcohol poured into participants’ throats.