Karatsu Kunchi Festival 2016

This festival is held in the city of Karatsu, Japan.

Karatsu Kunchi Festival Background

This is an annual autumn festival celebrated at the Karatsu Shrine. This religious festival is celebrated on the 9th day of the month. It is the most representative event culturally – for the city of Karatsu.

Karatsu Kunchi Festival Schedules

1) Evening Parade
Date and time: November 2 19:30 to 22:00 Route: Oteguchi → Downtown → Karatsu Shrine
2) Otabisho Parade
Date and time: November 3 09:30 to 16:30 Route: Karatsu Shrine → Downtown → Each communities
3) Round-town Parade
Date and time: November 4 10:30 to 16:30 Route: Karatsu Shrine → Downtown → Floats Hall

Karatsu Kunchi Festival What to Expect

Come and enjoy the spectacle with half a million visitors – an event with large floats, music – flutes and drums. Traditional cries of “enya!” “enya!” accompany floats called Hikiyama and decorated with lions or huge helmets Every Hikiyama is made with wood and decorated overlaid with paper, linen and other materials. They are then lacquered and topped off with silver or gold leaf. Neighborhoods spend a lot of money and time decorating these floats.

Karatsu Kunchi Festival Sequence of Events

The first day of the event is quite special as the floats are decorated with paper lanterns and paraded around town. This makes for a special atmosphere. On the second day, portable Karatsu Shrine is taken to Nishinohama – a nearby beach. On the third day, many teams dress in the traditional uniforms used by firefighters in the Edo Period (1600-1870) and take the floats through the neighborhoods they live in. After this, the floats are returned to storage and a melancholy atmosphere fills the air- because the festival has ended.

People come and enjoy the festivities and visiting friends and relatives. People also eat a lot of rich food and enjoy drinks. This is the one time of year when people are allowed to be free and no one gets criticised for a lapse in manners.

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