About Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan
Important to know about Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan – Nebuta Matsuri is a festival that takes place every year in Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture, which is in the north of Japan. It usually happens from August 2 to August 7, and it is one of Japan’s most well-known festivals.
During the festival, huge paper lanterns called “nebuta” are lit up and shaped like mythical and historical figures. Most of the time, the lanterns are about 5 metres tall and 9 metres wide and have a wooden frame. A team of artists designs and paints each nebuta, which can take up to a year to finish.
During the festival, taiko drums and flutes play traditional music as the nebuta are paraded through the streets of Aomori City. The nebuta are moved through the crowds of people by teams of men and women who dance and chant as they pull the lanterns.
In addition to the nebuta parade, the festival has fireworks shows, food vendors on the street, and other traditional Japanese cultural activities. Millions of people from Japan and all over the world come to the festival, making it one of the biggest and most popular events in Japan.
Facts about Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan
Here are some interesting facts about Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan:
- Nebuta Matsuri is one of the largest and most popular festivals in Japan, attracting over 3 million visitors every year.
- The festival is held annually in Aomori City, Aomori Prefecture, in the northern part of Japan.
- The festival features huge, illuminated paper lanterns in the shape of mythical figures and historical characters, called “nebuta.”
- Each nebuta can take up to a year to complete, and they are designed and painted by teams of artists and craftsmen.
- The nebuta can be up to 9 meters wide and 5 meters tall, and they are paraded through the streets of Aomori City during the festival.
- The festival includes traditional Japanese music played on taiko drums and flutes, as well as street food vendors and other cultural events.
- Nebuta Matsuri has a history dating back to the 16th century, but the festival as it is known today evolved during the Edo period (1603-1868).
- The festival was suspended during times of war, including the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, but it has been held annually since 1946.
- In 1980, Nebuta Matsuri was designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
- Nebuta Matsuri is considered one of the “three great festivals of the Tohoku region,” along with the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri and the Akita Kanto Matsuri.
History time line of Nebuta Matsuri festival
he history of Nebuta Matsuri dates back to the Edo period (1603-1868) and has evolved over time. Here is a brief timeline of the festival’s history:
- 16th century: The origins of Nebuta Matsuri are said to date back to the 16th century, when the samurai lord, General Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, used illuminated lanterns to frighten his enemies during a battle in the north of Japan.
- 18th century: During the Edo period, the festival evolved into a summer event to celebrate the end of the harvest season. The lanterns used in the festival were also larger and more elaborate than the earlier versions.
- 1800s: The festival became more organized during the 19th century, with teams of artists and craftsmen working together to create the nebuta. The festival also became more commercialized, with vendors selling food and souvenirs.
- 1890: The festival was suspended due to the Sino-Japanese War and did not resume until 1903.
- 1920s: The festival continued to evolve, with the introduction of musical accompaniment to the nebuta parade. Taiko drums and flutes were added to the festival, creating a more festive atmosphere.
- 1945: The festival was again suspended due to World War II.
- 1946: The festival resumed after the war, and it has been held annually ever since.
- 1980s: The festival gained national and international attention, with the number of visitors increasing each year. It was also designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
- Present day: The festival remains an important cultural event in Aomori City and attracts millions of visitors each year. The nebuta have become more intricate and creative, reflecting the artistic talent of the local community.
What is the impact of Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan
The impact of Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan is significant, both culturally and economically. Here are some of the ways the festival has impacted Japan:
- Cultural significance: Nebuta Matsuri is a cultural event that celebrates the history and traditions of Japan. The festival is an important part of the cultural heritage of Aomori City and the Tohoku region, and it attracts visitors from all over Japan and around the world.
- Boosts local economy: The festival has a significant economic impact on the local community. The influx of visitors during the festival creates a boost in sales for local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. The festival is estimated to generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.
- Promotes tourism: Nebuta Matsuri has become a popular tourist attraction in Japan, and it helps promote tourism in the Tohoku region. The festival is one of the most famous festivals in Japan, and it attracts visitors from all over the world who come to experience the culture and traditions of Japan.
- Preserves traditions: The festival helps preserve traditional Japanese crafts and art forms, such as the creation of the nebuta lanterns and traditional Japanese music. The festival provides an opportunity for local artists and craftsmen to showcase their skills and to pass on their knowledge to future generations.
- Community building: The festival also promotes community building and a sense of pride among the people of Aomori City. The creation of the nebuta lanterns is a community effort, and the festival brings people together to celebrate their culture and traditions.
Statistics of Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan
Here are some statistics related to Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan:
- Attendance: Nebuta Matsuri is one of the largest festivals in Japan, attracting over 3 million visitors every year.
- Duration: The festival is held annually for seven days, from August 2 to August 7.
- Number of lanterns: The festival features over 20 nebuta, which are huge illuminated paper lanterns in the shape of mythical figures and historical characters.
- Size of lanterns: Each nebuta can be up to 9 meters wide and 5 meters tall.
- Number of participants: The festival involves thousands of people, including teams of artists and craftsmen who create the nebuta, musicians who play traditional Japanese music, and dancers who perform alongside the lanterns.
- Economic impact: The festival has a significant economic impact on Aomori City and the Tohoku region, generating millions of dollars in revenue each year from visitors who spend money on hotels, restaurants, and souvenirs.
- Cultural significance: Nebuta Matsuri is an important cultural event in Japan and has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property by the Japanese government.
- Transportation: During the festival, the streets of Aomori City are closed to traffic, and visitors are encouraged to use public transportation to get around.
What are do's and Dont's at Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when attending Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan:
- Respect the culture: Nebuta Matsuri is a cultural event that celebrates Japanese traditions and history. Show respect for the local culture and traditions by observing the customs and practices of the festival.
- Dress appropriately: The festival takes place in the summer, so it can be hot and humid. Dress in comfortable clothing and wear comfortable shoes for walking. It is also a good idea to wear a hat and sunscreen.
- Enjoy the food: The festival is a great opportunity to try traditional Japanese street food. Enjoy the local cuisine and try new foods that you may not have had before.
- Take photos: The nebuta lanterns are an important part of the festival and make for great photos. Take plenty of pictures to remember the festival.
- Follow instructions: During the festival, there may be instructions from the festival organizers or police officers to ensure everyone’s safety. Follow these instructions to avoid any accidents or incidents.
- Touch the lanterns: The nebuta lanterns are delicate and expensive works of art. Do not touch or climb on the lanterns, as this can damage them.
- Block the parade: The parade route can become crowded, so it is important to keep moving and not block the path of the nebuta lanterns. Be mindful of other festival-goers and keep the flow of traffic moving.
- Bring large bags or backpacks: Large bags and backpacks can make it difficult to move through the crowds and can be a safety hazard. It is better to bring a small bag or purse to carry your essentials.
- Drink too much alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can impair your judgment and lead to unsafe behavior. It is important to drink responsibly and not overdo it.
- Use flash photography: Using flash photography can damage the delicate paper of the nebuta lanterns. It is better to use natural light when taking photos.
By following these do’s and don’ts, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience at Nebuta Matsuri festival in Japan.