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Funekko Nagashi Festival

2014 / 8 /16

Funekko Nagashi Festival is an event with about 280 years of tradition and is held annually in August 16th at the Kitakami River located in Morioka City, Iwate prefecture.

The festival is aimed at giving a prayer of thanks to the spirits of the deceased and sending them off to another life.

In the evening, handcrafted boats gorgeously decorated with lanterns and offerings are brought out to the water near the Meiji Bridge by scores men and are set ablaze.

In a stately atmosphere where the flames are reflected on the surface of the water, the boats burn down and slowly drift down the stream.

After finishing the Funekko Nagashi event and becoming at night, an event called “Nage Taimatsu (tossing torches)” is held.

With a sound of signal, student volunteers from local elementary and junior high schools twiddle ignited pine torches in one hand and toss them at the basket, namely “Hachi-no-Su (honeycomb),” placed at the end of a standing pole.

The scene in which a basket gets hit by a torch and flames up in the air is just breathtaking. The festival finishes up with a fireworks performance.