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Hamamatsu Festival (浜松まつり) is a festival which is held in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, every 3 to 5 May. The Hamamatsu festival is not a religious festival but a city festival. In Japan, from 3 to 5 May, is holiday which is called Golden week. Golden week is the longest national holiday in Japan. 3 May is Constitution Memorial Day, 4 May is Greenery Day, and 5 May is Children’s Day. During the festival, people who live in each ward celebrate older children, especially baby boys, and local restaurants to pray their success and prosperity.
History[change | change source]
The first Hamamatsu festival started in 1558 to celebrate the birth of the lord of Hamamatsu castle’s son. The lord and his close advisers flew a kite on which was written the son’s name. In the middle of Edo era (1603~1868), not only in Hamamatsu but also all over Japan, it became famous to fly kites on the Children’s Day (5 May). On the day, Japanese people usually celebrate and pray boys’ healthy growth and their bright future.
Kite festival[change | change source]
In the Hamamatsu festival, large kites are very famous. At 11 am on 3 May, more than 100 large kites fly in the sky by a trumpet call. The place is the Nakatajima Sand Dunes, which is one of three largest sand dunes in Japan. The Nakatajima Dunes overlook Enshu-nada sea, so the place is very useful for flying kites due to strong winds from the sea. On that day, the sky is filled with more than 100 large kites on which are written baby boy’s names and marks or designs of each town (chō). Participants in each town try their to fight and intertwine the 5mm thick kite strings and cut their opponents’ strings by friction. People believe that the higher the kites fly, the healthier the baby boys grow up. This kite festival is held for three days in the daytime.
Floats[change | change source]
At night, there are 83 palace-like floats in the center of Hamamatsu. Each small town has one float. There is a parade of floats, which have gorgeous sculpture works. On the floats, girls play traditional music using Japanese instruments like drums (taiko), flutes (shinobue), and bells. Other children, their family, and people who live in the town carry a big float and take it around. The audience can see the beautiful floats and enjoy some music from the side of roads.
Reference[change | change source]
- Wiren, Alan. "History of Hamamatsu Festival". Japan Visitor. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Hamamatsu Festival". Japan The official guide. JNTO. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Hamamatsu Festival". in Hamamatsu.com. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "What's Hamamatsu Kite Festival?". Event Carnival. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
- "Hamamatsu Festival". Japan Visitor. Retrieved 8 December 2016.