Aug 7, 2009

The summer festival season has arrived

The summer festival season has arrived in Niigata. Starting from today, Friday the 7th August till Sunday, 9th August, people in Niigata city enjoys annual Niigata Festival. In fact, while festivals in general are to associated with religion or originated from religious activities, Niigata Festival doesn't bring taste of religion too much. According to the official home page of the festival, very first Niigata Festival was held in 1955 combining 4 traditional festivals, namely SUMIYOSHI festival, Local business festival, opening the river Shinano festival and the opening the Niigata port festival.

The SUMIYOSHI festival has origin in Sumiyoshi shrine. It started in 1726 as the festival for ship merchant in Niigata.

The opening the river Shinano festival started in 1910 after the city suffered 2 big fire. Main feature of this festival was HANABI, sky rocket fireworks, which is still the main feature of the Niigata Festival on Sunday evening.

Other 2 festivals still remain as MINYO NAGASHI, traditional dancing with Japanese folk songs which is held on Friday night. Almost 3 km long main street of Niigata is blocked and plenty teams by citizens dance with MINYO, the traditional folk songs. (Photo above. MIKOSHI, movable shrine in front of a department store in Niigata waiting for the festival to begin.)

This morning, we had quite heavy rain in Niigata area. It is unusual to have such heavy rain in August in Niigata. Weather is changing. Sanjo parish was flooded by rain water, though it did not reach the floor level, according to Fr.Ishiguro, the parish priest. The property of the parish is quite lower than main road in front and entire rain water from the road always attacks the parish. We may have to do something to prevent water to come in.

Past few days, several famous people are arrested or under investigation on charge of drug possession or use. Drug addiction is becoming a big headache in Japan and the organisation like DARC is really needed though not so many people understand its importance. We would like to support their activities, and also activities of MAC.

No comments:

Post a Comment