The August 1 Hassaku Ceremony 8月1日の八朔祭り

Les geisha rendent visite en petit groupe aux commerçants du quartier de Gion

The geisha visit in a small group the merchants of the Gion district

Flick/ Kaoru Honda

Hanamachi beauties are out!

 

On August 1 , the city of Kyoto celebrates Hassaku, a centuries-old ceremony honoring the maiko of the Gion district. On this occasion, maiko and geisha go around the Hanamachi to thank all the merchants who have welcomed them during the year. A festival under the sign of gratitude which actually animates more than one district of the former capital!

 

 

The Hassaku celebrations are born in a difficult context . Ravaged by the plague and typhoons, the city of Kyoto is at its worst and its inhabitants are struggling to keep faith in the future.

 

With its songs and its offerings, the festivities mark the occasion to protect the city spiritually. An event that thus crystallizes the hopes of an entire people who hope for a better future with the coming of the new moon.

 

See also: Miyako Odori

 

La nouvelle lune est synonyme de renouveau

The new moon is synonymous with renewal. It would be the starting point of the Hassaku festivities.

Pixabay

 

From the little Tasumi bridge to the heart of the Hanamachi , dozens of geisha line up in front of restaurants and small businesses in the neighborhood to thank the people who have helped them during the year.

From teachers to tea house owners to kimono masters, all receive warm messages of recognition from the artists.

 

 

To find out more: What is being a Geisha?

 

Les festivaliers saisissent l'occasion de prendre en photo les maiko

Festival-goers take the opportunity to take pictures of the maiko

Flick/ Onihide

Le festival attire de nombreux curieux

The festival attracts many curious

Flick/ Onihide

 

Festivities over several weeks

 

The maiko aren't the only ones parading through the streets of Kyoto for the Hassaku festivities ! A festive period for the whole city, the festival actually runs from August 1 to mid-September. And many parades enliven the other districts of the former capital.

 

From the wanderings of the mikoshi ( portable altar) carried exclusively by women in Kyoto, to the lion dance performed for more than an hour to bring good luck to the entire city, Hassaku is therefore the event not to be missed if you are passing through Kyoto during the summer season.

 

L'ensemble de la ville est en fête du 1er août à la mi-septembre

The whole city is celebrating from August 1 to mid-September

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