The grass fires festival in Mt.Wakakusa

The festival that burn the dead grass of Mt.Wakakusa was taken place on the 28th of January.
This festival is the traditional event that tell the early spring in ancient capital Nara.

Mt.Wakakusa(342m ht) is the gradual mountain covered with the grasses all over. Usually deers are eating grasses or playing on it lazily.

There are some origin of this grass fires festival. According to legend, this mountain has an ancient tomb on the top of the mountain. So there was a superstition that Ghosts of this tomb scared people a long time ago. People thought if they don't burn this mountain to sooth the soul of ancient, unfavorable affair would happen. So someone set fire and the next year,too and the next year,too........It continued.
It was  the festival for woodmen to comfort the soul or make offerings.
Mt.Wakakusa lies to near Kasuga shrine, Todaiji-temple, Kofukuji-temple in Nara park in Nara city. These temples and shrine are listed on World Heritage Site and big ones. Now the wood men's  festival fixed as the festival that divines of these two temples and a shrine gather and comfort ancestors or pray peace for people.

A procession came near Mt. Wakakusa. The procession consists of players of Japanese musical instruments, Buddhist monk soldiers, monks  play tritons, Nara government officials in those days  and monks or attendants of Kasuga-shrine,Todaiji-temple,Kofukuji-temple.
They got fire from  the small sacred fire in Kasuga-shrine to their  torches there.

A Shinto priest gives  the sacred fire from Kasuga-shrine(it's inside the box at the center) 

A young father next to me said to his small son "Gathering of these big three Japanese lanterns is rare."(it means that getting together of these temples and shrine is rare. Chinese characters of "Kasugataisya-shrine,Todaiji-temple,Kofukuji-temple" and their heraldries were written on lanterns each)

They got fire that kasuga-taisya put

They carried torches  at the foot of Mt.Wakakusa and lighted the bonfire with their torches. Sutra recitation was begun by monks of Kasuga-shrine,Todaiji-temple,Kofukuji-temple.

The party go to the big bonfire in front of Mt.Wakakusa

After that, they carried torches to the big bonfire in front of Mt.Wakakusa and lighted it.

They lighted the big bonfire

Following that, fireworks were displayed. The whole spectators burst into cheers. We enjoyed the wink colorful flowers in the winter sky. But I had stiff shoulders. Which fireworks do you like?

The small lights over there are fire men

Lots of firemen got fire to their torches from the big bonfire and spread on the mountain,taking torches. They lighted the dead grasses together.
The fire run in the grasses and burst into a blaze in the winter night sky.

Thank you firefighters

The fire caught the next field

 The fire grows to the top of the mountain

The small sacred fire brought from Kasuga-shrine expanded the whole mountain.
Accidentally I turned  round, I could see the light in Nara city. Similarly people in most of Nara city can look up this fire. People has been watching this fire from the old days. Thanks to people's effort that has been keeping this grass fires, we can touch the culture in the  remote past of Nara.
I've been living in Nara city for 25years. This festival made me feel again that Nara is great.

 The light in Nara city

Aesthetic sash at a distance

Wish you all blessed days from Mt.Wakakusa!

This post is linked Our World Tuesday.

29 件のコメント:

Spiderdama さんのコメント...

Wow, what a festival! And a very great fireworks. Never heard about anything like this, but you are masters of festivals:-) Beautiful pictures.

Thanks for all your nice comments.
Ps: It is not a hard thing for me to follow God, He is always for me:-)


Red Rose. さんのコメント...

Good morning,Sara.

奈良の山焼きは、迫力ある神聖な儀式なのですね!!今まで寒いのに耐えられず行った事がありませんでした。山焼きを間近で見物しているような気分になりました。寒かったでしょう??Thank you for sharing.


haricot さんのコメント...


Leena さんのコメント...

Thank you for your visit my freezing country Sarah!
your photos are so interesting and mysterious to me.
I have visited Malaysia, Japan and China.
Happy weekend to you!

ruma さんのコメント...

Hello, sarah.

  The force of the festival is impressive.
  The grand tradition is the Japanese treasure.

  The coldest winter will be melted by your warm heart.
  The works gently accept all visitors.

  I praise your creative art sense.
  The prayer for all peace.
  Have a good weekend.
  ruma ❃

Arti さんのコメント...

What a different festival and what a story behind it. Its so fascinating to learn about different cultures and their traditions.
The fireworks look stunning, lighting the whole sky. Just like the Diwali festival we celebrate in India!!
Beautiful pics, although some were scary.
Have a fabulous weekend Sarah:)

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...




Wendy さんのコメント...

What wonderful pictures! I've never seen a fire like this before. I like learning about your festivals. I hope the fire did not burn anyone.
Thanks for sharing.

cosmos さんのコメント...

いやあ 私も近くで見ていましたが、写真は一部の場面を切り取ってクローズアップで見るようなものですから、全体像で見るより迫力がありますね。あの寒さの中、奈良の伝統行事を伝えようとするサラさんの熱意に頭が下がります。

snowwhite さんのコメント...

How vigorous your photos are!! I feel your excitement to witness this splendid festival.
Honestly speaking, I am very bad at taking photos at night. So your photos amaze me a lot!!
splendid photos!

LifeRamblings さんのコメント...

what an interesting festival. the fireworks are gorgeous. it's always great to get a glimpse of fascinating cultures of other parts of the world.

stardust さんのコメント...

Wow, and wow! How spectacular! I feel the heat and hear the sound of the burning flame as if I were there. I haven’t seen what is being done before the firing up, so thank you for showing the whole process. My favorite fireworks is the first one among the four fireworks photos.

LadyFi さんのコメント...

Wow - what a fascinating tradition, binding the past and present.

Your fire photos are wonderfully vivid!

Snap さんのコメント...

Spectacular. I love reading about Japan and the festivals. Great images and loved the fireworks, too!

匿名 さんのコメント...

The Paisanos here in Morelia are just now starting to burn the old corn up in the hills. The place is alight with rows upon rows of fire. Much is left to fate however since fire departments rarely get involved. I imagine that the japanese version is much more controlled.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...

沢山のFire fighters の方々にも感謝ですね。今度山焼きの写真の撮り方私にも教えてください。View Japan へのコメントどうも有難う!


shooting star さんのコメント...

such an interesting festival..really enjoyed your pics here...very interesting..and loved the fireworks!!


Ekaterina Trayt さんのコメント...

Such a weird tradition - to burn the mountain! I'd be scared of so much fire, to be honest.

ruma さんのコメント...

Hello, sarah.

 Lovely your works, full of JOY.

 I am enlightened by your splendid works.
 Thank you for showing your heartwarming world.

 The prayer for all peace.
Have a good week. ruma ❃

Doru さんのコメント...

Great culture! Thank you for this stunning story!

匿名 さんのコメント...

Wow... very interesting and impressive!
I really enjoyed your pics and your explanations.
Thanks for sharing
and for visiting my blog!

Redruby さんのコメント...

such a great festival..i wish to see it one day..and yes, i love japanese food...thanks for your kind comments..take care my friend!

best regards from me and my blogs.

Europe Travel Pad
Countryside Trip
Travel Snapshots

Q さんのコメント...

Dear Sarah,
Once again I am awed by your culture.
This fire festival is amazing.
I love your fireworks photographs too.
i am learning about the Elements of Japanese Design...this fire festival is very much shizen.
Fire can be so very beautiful.

Life Ramblings さんのコメント...

Hi Sarah,

i hope to visit Japan someday. your photos and posts are always so interesting. it's great to learn something new through your posts. thanks for sharing the beauty of Japan. have a fabulous day Sarah. looking forward to your next post.

Magia da Inês さんのコメント...

Essas imagens de incêndio são impressionantes.

Um belíssimo dia para você!
Bom fim de semana!


Forest Dream Weaver さんのコメント...

Beautiful and informative photos and text Sarah.I hope the deer escaped!
Best wishes,

Arti さんのコメント...

This is simply an amazing festival. The pics are beautiful depicting the nature of it. The fire looks very frightening in the last few pics!
Wish you a wonderful week ahead Sarah:)

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