2014 / 08 / 02
Nio Dragon Festival is developed from a ritual praying for rain, and is annually held on the first Saturday of August.
The legend says that, in the past, the villagers who had been suffering from droughts, carried a huge rice straw-made dragon float and marched throughout the village following the suggestion of an advisor.
Then, they splashed water over the float and brought out to sea.
This event successfully resulted in long-awaited rain.
A dragon float which appears in the festival is made of rice straw and green bamboo sticks.
Each float that measures about 35m long and weighs about 3t is carried by more than 150 men and proceeds through the town.
Spectators participate in the parade by splashing water over a dragon float using buckets while shouting a phrase, “Sore, Ryu-ni Mizu-abuse! (Splash water over a dragon!) ” In the evening, a dance contest and a Bon dance performance take place at a stage specially set up for the festival, and more than 20 groups in and outside of the city join these events.
The excitement of both spectators and participants culminates at a collaborative performance of a dragon float and Nio Ryushyo Drums.