Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri   岸和田だんじり祭

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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri

Parade float at the Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri.

The round of floats

A wave of screams and rainbow colors sweeps the streets of Kishiwada. Welcome to the festival of this small neighboring city of Osaka.

The tricentennial Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is characterized by the fervor and euphoria of its participants. Thirty Danjiri, wooden floats of many finely crafted meters represent the different neighborhoods and carpentry guilds of the port city. Those with courage and endurance pull these constructions at high speed using ropes. A group of musicians of all ages plays drums, bells and elbows strives to follow. The master craftsman has the best spot, at the top of the float, where he risks his life in acrobatics to the cheers of the crowd.

Taking corners with these wooden structures where the deities reside is fairly difficult and it is not uncommon for some to end up in pieces on the road. Dauntless, the valiant tractors never slow down. They bellow their chants of kakegoe, the rallying cry specific to each Danjiri. It takes plenty of breath and good calves to honor the gods, for this crazy procession lasts more than four hours.

In the evening, exhausted and happy festival-goers stop their floats and hang dozens of paper lanterns on them. They then sit around their racing vehicle to eat and drink in its glow. But the night has only just begun and they go to visit the different stores and stalls.

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