Nozawa Fire Festival 2013
2013 Fire Festival Japan.
Nozawa Fire Festival 2013, Nagano prefecture is one of the must see attractions if you happen to visit the place on January. The festival is known to be the third most celebrated fire festivals in the country. This fascinating event is held annually and falls its date on January 15th. The festival was believed by the villagers to bring about bountiful harvest, good health and fortune for the coming year.
Before the festival, 25 and 42-year old men of the village come together in constructing a wooden shrine called ‘the Shaden’ which stands 18 meters high. The Japanese believed that those years are very unfortunate for men and so they are the ones who will have the major role in to drive away misfortunes. It usually takes more than 100 villagers to build the tower. After the contraction of the Shaden, a Kosuge priest performs a ritual to endow the shrine with a god. Lantern poles locally called as ‘toro’ are also raised by the families who celebrate the birth of their first son. The festival starts with the lighting of the fire. A small group of men carries torches which are lit using two stones striking together. The men who built the tower will protect the shrine against the men of all ages who will intentionally set the shrine in flame. The 25 and 42-year old men will try to extinguish the fire with pine branches. If the right time comes, the 42-years old men will announce an end of the commotion. All together, they will watch a huge bonfire from a burning tower. The attack usually takes about an hour while the entire event lasts for approximately 4 hours and the main attraction for the tourist is the battle between the torch bearers and the guards.
So if you missed the event in previous years, never despair for it will be held again next year. Nozawa Fire Festival 2013, Nagano prefecture will surely delight your eyes. You can reach the place by train, car or bus. It will take you about an hour from Nagano Station to Nozawa Onsen if you take the train. If you have a car, the trip will last for only 45 minutes. But if you prefer taking the bus, it will probably take a little bit longer time before you can reach the exact location.