festival season: pt.1

Tejikara Fire Festival. the name says it all.

walking out of the station, we could immediately smell gunpowder in the air. a short walk later, we were in the middle of a parade in which men with fireworks strapped to their legs danced around to the deafening blasts. following close behind were other men carrying large floats to the temple grounds. we pushed our way through the crowd in the street to a larger crowd waiting for the main event to take place.

one by one, each of the 30 foot lanterns were lit. first, emitting a shower of flames and then glowing with a red or yellowish fire. as this took place, each team of men and their float would run under the flames in hopes of sparking the fireworks hidden in their structure. once ignited, a large fountain of sparks shot up from the float, showering the men and heightening their dancing and drumming. the show culminated with fireworks we caught from a distance.

 more information: here and here