Towards the end of summer, you can feel it is coming. It is an awaited item on the calendar like any other festival in Japan. This is a land of festivals and you do not want to be caught off guard when you start to observe massive preparations that precede these colourful events running every other year. Busy as you might be, you will certainly not miss catching a glimpse of venue set up, some rehearsals and flyer distributions all announcing an already well publicized event up on its way. The period is October which is autumn and the weather is almost always
at good terms with the summer heat having chilled out abit.
The history of this festival is a rich one and I cannot be in position to describe it but the little i gather is that the festival is close to 400years old. Having begun as a harvest celebration, it grew to a somewhat different way of stamping out Christianity that was apparently taking root in the 16th century. The festival spans over a period of three days and this marks a new definition of colour and noise in the city of Nagasaki.
On keen observation, there is an increase in the number of foreigners at about this time although it is very difficult to tell since Nagasaki is a land of foreigners. The tourist destinations and resorts must be teeming with an influx of 外国人(foreigner).And it is always the October 7th to 9th,three days of thrilling colour and awesomeness.
Irrespective of age, all people will gather on these days have fun and enjoy jaw dropping performances from different teams representing their respective towns. The costumes are a sight in themselves. I had not experienced such a rich array of Japanese traditional wear until the Kunchi festival. The makeup done by the ladies performing the odori is also a sight to behold. The precise sound drummed out by youngsters is an amusement in its own way leaving you to wonder how they have mastered this art of synchrony and sheer flawlessness. Young energetic men are also on point to display a wide range of antics that look very well rehearsed and spot on.
Amazing food at the numerous stalls, smoking in the air all sorts of meat and fish grills and the throngs of people along the roads every one trying to catch the glimpse of these teams…. oh how i loved the festival. I took my turns tasting lots of cuisines and snacks and i felt i was well in festive mood.
Be sure to catch this spectacular sight next year around the same time, guaranteed you might not see the same teams but you will have fun. You will not miss a sight of old and young, frail and strong, horses traditional wear, exotic wear,
regalia ex etera. I simply loved it.