Sunday, August 9, 2015

Gifu Tejikara Fire Festival

So, it turns out the information I had read was correct.   Twice a year (once in April and once in August) Gifu holds the Tejikara Fire Festival.  During the festival, they light lanterns on 9 large poles by shooting rockets up at the poles.  Once the lanterns are all lit, 6 teams of men carrying floats come out and walk around the poles while setting off firecrackers and ringing bells.  Once they've made a full circle around the poles they return to where they started.  Then the real fun begins.  They come back out 2 teams at a time and dance around with the float on their shoulders under a large pole that is showering them with sparks.  The floats are filled with gun powder and the idea is to get the sparks to ignite the float.  As long as the float is shooting out sparks and sparks are dropping from the tall pole, they keep dancing around with the float on their shoulders.   After each set of teams is done, a round of fireworks goes off and then the next two teams come out and do the same thing.

Lighting the lanterns with rockets.

Video of the insanity.