Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival starts when the seven drum floats decorated with lanterns, gather in Nihonmatsu Shrine, where the fire is moved to the lanterns, creating an impressive scene with the thousands of red lanterns. Following the start of the festival is "Miyairi", where the mikoshi (miniature shrine) is carried onto shrine grounds for a Shinto ceremony. Then at night, each of the drum floats parades through its own town with young men from the float loudly calling out, accompanied by festival music unique to each town.
Experience a jaw-dropping chochin matsuri in Fukushima (Tohoku)
The Nihonmatsu Chochin Matsuri (Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival) is held every year from October 4th to 6th. Yoi Matsuri (Night Festival) is held on the first day. Seven drum floats, each decorated with as many as 300 lanterns, gather in Nihonmatsu Shrine, where the fire is moved to the lanterns. Then the fleet of drum floats parades through the town at night, creating an impressive scene with the thousands of red lanterns. On the second day of the festival, the mikoshi (miniature shrine) is carried onto shrine grounds to perform a Shinto ceremony, "Miyairi". At night, the drum floats with lanterns parade through town along with gallant calling from the young men on the floats. Festival music unique to each town and passed down for generations through word of mouth is played, giving the drum floats a traditional festiveness. The infectious energy from this impressive sight just might be a memory you'll never forget! During the last day of the festival, the floats are pulled through town one more time, but the musical instruments keep on playing even after the sunset because people don't want to admit that the festival is over.
Nihonmatsu Chochin Matsuri (Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival)
- Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture