Feb 10, 2011

Preparing the Giant Paper Lanterns for Tazawako Snow Festival

Tazawako Kogen Snow Festival (田沢湖高原雪まつり)is a great chance for you to see some of the traditional new year festival of Semboku City at one time!

One of the highlights is Kamifusen-age (紙風船上げ)from Nishiki Area, in which giant lanterns with colorful paintings and written wishes are lit inside and released up to the sky, and Hiburi-kamakura (火振りかまくら) from Kakunodate town.

Tazawako Kogen Snow Festival will be held next weekend (February 18th- 20th). (See the schedule. )The lanterns are being prepared by many local community groups. This is what we have been working on this week.

The lantern is made of a bamboo loop and four sheets of washi (Japanese papers). The first step is to draw images on the paper with a pencil and paint with some acrylic paints distilled with water and vinegar. Here is what we have worked on yesterday!

Today  the papers have been dried. In a few days, it will be combined with three other sheets and fixed with a steady bamboo loop. On the festival day, it will have a ball of fabric in the center of the loop, lit with fire, and released up to the sky.

The original Kamifusen-age festival will be held tonight in Nishiki Area from 15:00 to 20:30.

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