Abare festival

2014 / 07 / 5 , 6

Abare Matsuri is a gallant festival dedicated to the Yasaka Shrine located in Ushitsu, Ishikawa prefecture, and is taken place annually from the first Friday to Saturday of July.

Starting by this festival, summer festivals will be held all over the Noto Peninsula. The event has a reputation as a fierce and sometimes violent festival.

About 40 kiriko (Noto’s illuminated lantern floats) that can be measured as high as 7m, are carried through sparks of giant torches, and two mikoshi floats are repeatedly thrown into a river and fires.

The festival developed 340 years ago when a bad disease widely spread throughout the area. In order to get rid of the disease, the locals invited the deity, Gozu Tenno from the Gion Shrine in Kyoto, and held a big festivity.

It is said that, as a result, holy bees cured patients one after another. The delighted locals, then, paid homage to the shrine carrying kiriko.

A rampageous treatment of mikoshi and kiriko in the festival symbolizes the destructive deity, Susanoo, who is enshrined in the Yasaka Shrine.