Aug 3, 2011

Tazawako Dragon Festival 2011 (Part 3: Two Dragons Reunited)

Tazawako Dragon Festival (たざわ湖・龍神祭り)was held on July 23, 2011. The event features a hiking tour which traces the legendary routes Tatsuko took from her hometown to Lake Tazawa, as well as some stage performances by local amateur bands and Tazawako Ryujin Daiko, a taiko performance group that was established when Tazawako Festival started about 41 years ago.

One of the main attractions in the evening is the ceremony of Ryujin Matsuri, or Dragon Festival, in which finally Tatsuko and Hachiro-taro are reunited and lead the dragons to the water.

This ceremony symbolizes the unity of man and woman.

Two dragon floats moves towards the water.

This year, due to the increased level of water for more power generation, the ceremony was held at shrine near the stage, not at the beach. This allowed the audience to watch the sequence even closer than usual year (see last year).

The dragon floats are carried by volunteers from local Tazawako area and students group from Akita University and Akita International University. Some people joined at the last minute too. It added up to 100 participants!

Here are some quick videos to show you the ceremony procedure:

Part 1: Tatsuko appears to the crowd, steps up to the shrine to make a prayer.

Part 2: Taro appears to the shrine, leading his dragon, to meet with Tatsuko.

Part 3: Two dragons of Tatsuko and Hachiro-Taro are reunited at the shrine.

Part 4: The priest purifies Tatsuko, Hachiro-Taro, and the crowd.

Part 5: Tatsuko prays.

Part 6: Taro prays.

Part 7: The dragon floats start to move to the beach.

Part 8: Dragons meet at the beach.

Part 9: Dragons finally meet in the water.

Anyone can join the ceremony. Hopefully, we will welcme even more people next year.

Now it is the finale of the event – Fireworks show!

No comments: