The Karatsu Kunchi Autumn Festival

05:07 11/09/2023

The Karatsu Kunchi Autumn Festival

Japan, with its rich and diverse culture, is known to host many interesting, vibrant, and unique festivals. One of which is the Karatsu Kunchi Autumn Festival - a traditional event in Japan that takes place in November, from the 2nd to the 4th, in Kyushu.

The Karatsu Kunchi Festival originated during the Edo period, between the 17th and 19th centuries, and it is a traditional festival of Saga Prefecture, marking the abundant autumn harvest. A distinctive feature of this festival is the grand procession of the gigantic and uniquely designed Hikiyama floats,  paraded through the town. The final place of the procession leads to the Karatsu Shrine by the Nishino Sea. 

These floats can reach up to 7 meters high and take 2-3 years to complete. On the day of the procession, each Hikiyama is pulled by 150-300 people using ropes, winding through the city streets.

With a history spanning over 400 years, this festival is a unique and culturally rich event in the spiritual and emotional life of Japan. There are highlights that you shouldn't miss and can't find in any other Japanese festival.

 First, the festival showcases traditional music passed down through generations, as well as the use of traditional Japanese lacquer art on the Hikiyama floats. The second distinctive feature is the traditional clothing, including Hachimaki headbands and Hapi jackets, which have been preserved for many generations.

As the festival draws around 500,000 participants, it's recommended to book accommodations early if you plan to travel to the city and partake in the festivities.

 Image: japanairlines, promovacances_montauban, freeman.katsu,