Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's festival time in Kuji!

And what a fun time of year it is. :) There are lots of photo ops, that's for sure. So many in fact, that instead of putting photos in this blog post, I've made an album called "Aki Matsuri" (Fall Festival) 2009, that you can find on the right side of this page at the top. Enjoy...

In addition to taking pictures, I've taken advantage of the video setting on my camera so you can get a real taste of what the festival is all about. Along with the videos, I'll give a little explanation about what goes on each day of the festival...

Thursday night, 6 p.m.: Opening Ceremony

All of the handmade floats that different community groups have been working on for months are lined up at the Dofukan. (The Dofukan is pretty much my backyard, so it's real convenient!) Lots of people gather to see all the floats and watch the shrines being carried.


Friday, 4 p.m.: Parade of floats

All of the floats are paraded down the street by lines of people -- my students included -- pulling on long ropes! There are usually singers and people playing the drums on each float.


Saturday evening, 7 p.m.: Welcome Ceremony for the mayor of Franklin and his wife

This year is very special because Franklin's mayor and his wife came for the festival! It's been at least 12 years since the mayors of the two sister cities have met with each other. Liz, Nate and I enjoyed eating and visiting with the mayors. After the meal, City Hall workers did a cheer...


Historic moment: The mayor of Kuji and the mayor of Franklin together.

Saturday, 2 p.m.: Parade of dancing, singing, drumming, etc.

The senses are overwhelmed! You smell all kinds of fried festival food, and you hear all different kinds of music and sounds. Here's a four-minute sampling of what the parade is like...


Sunday, 2 p.m.: Parade of floats and shrines, similar to Friday

What makes Sunday different, however, is that Liz, Nate and I will be involved in the parade! Liz and I will carry lanterns, and Nate will help carry the heavy shrine. I'm looking forward to it!

I'm also looking forward to having three holidays in a row next week -- Monday through Wednesday we're off work. :) We're planning on going to Ninohe to hang out with our friends there, and I'm not exactly sure what we'll end up doing. Stay tuned...


Lauren said...

I am so jealous, I want to be in Kuji right now enjoying the festivals with you! I did not know you had three days off next week you lucky duck! Well enjoy the festivals and think of me as you are eating all that yummy food!

Dawn said...

Kuji sounds like a lot of fun with all the festivals. Eat enough food for all your friends - LOL.