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Toba no Himatsuri - the fire festival of Toba

Official name is ‘Toba-dai-kagaribi (the great bonfire of Toba).
Two large torches called ‘Suzumi’ are planted at the centre of Toba-Shinmeisha-shrine on the eve of the festival. The torches are about 5 meters high and they weigh up to 2 tons each. Inside each massive pile of bamboos and sun-dried miscanthus are a ‘Shingi (holy tree)’ and 12 ropes symbolising the months of the year, which will be sought by the men once the torches are kindled. The climax of the festival. The spectacle of men jumping into the flames to take the ‘holy tree’ is simply unmissable.

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13Feb2011 20:05

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