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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Jun 26 11:59 PM

June 27th, 2016: Wakakusa Yamayaki

Wakakusa Yamayaki, The Mountain Burning Festival in the Japanese city of Nara.
Nara is at the base of gentle slope to a 350 meter high extinct volcano called Mount Wakakusa.
The mountain is covered by grass, and lining the slope of the mountain are cherry trees.

On the 4th Saturday in January they gather for the ceremonial torch lighting at Kasuga Taisha Shrine.
Then a parade of torches to light a bonfire at the foot of the mountain.

At 6 pm there is a fireworks display, and then they torch the mountain.

The dry grass burns for 30 minutes to and hour.
I don’t know how they keep the fire from wandering into the woods on either side.

This has been a tradition for so long nobody is sure how this all started. One story says an argument between two temples couldn't be
resolved so they torched the mountain. Don't ask how that solved anything. Can you say inscrutable, boys and girls?
Another story says it drives away wild boars, but I guess they would come back when it turned green again.

But I guess it breaks up the winter, and uses up last summer's marshmallows.


glatt  Monday Jun 27 08:51 AM


Clodfobble  Monday Jun 27 01:52 PM

Is it one of those things that acts as a fire break, so if one forest does have a wildfire it can't spread to the other side? Maybe having the open area adjacent to the village protects it from said wildfires?

Gravdigr  Monday Jun 27 04:50 PM

It's a good excuse for a big damn fire.

Sit back, knock out some Sapporos, maybe Kirin, watch the fire.

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