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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Akita Kanto Festival

The Akita Kanto Festival  (秋田竿燈まつり) is being held in Akita City, Akita Prefecture from August 3rd to 6th.

Kanto(竿燈) is a 10-meter-long bamboo pole with 40 lanterns. They weigh 50 kilograms.

Kanto holders balance them on their foreheads, shoulders and hips.

As with Nebuta festivals, this festival comes from a folk event to drive off the demon of drowsiness.

An ancient literature written in 1789 described the folk event that people paraded along the street holding a long pole to which horizontal poles with lanterns were attached.

The shape of kanto represents ears of rice and straw rice bags to pray for a good harvest.

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