Kurama fire festival

The Kurama no Hi-Matsuri or Kurama fire festival is a smaller festival in Kyōto, Japan – but still attracting lots of visitors. The people of the village Kurama ignite fires close to their houses at 6pm and 250 burning torches are carried through the streets – smaller ones by children, bigger ones by men; all traditionally dressed.

To get to Kurama you’ll have to take a special railway starting close to the river bank of river Kamo. And you’ll have to be free of claustrophobia – the streets are full of people and they will get really close. On some places I couldn’t even move a single millimeter. But as everybody stays totally calm, nothing happens.

I had to think about a catastrophe at the so called Love parade (a techno music festival) in Germany where people where pressed together until panic came up. Japanese souls seem to be far away from reacting like that. Being there was a nice thing and I really enjoyed the special atmosphere created by the fire.

Kyōto, Japan

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