Hanagasa Matsuri

Hanagasa Matsuri is a Japanese festival held in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture located in the Tohoku region of the Honshū island. It is held from the 5th to 7th of August. It is being organized since 1964. Some 1 million people attend the festival.

Hanagasa Matsuri
Hanagasa Matsuri

The most important event of this festival is the big parade that includes 100,000 dancers divided into about 100 groups. All dancers in certain group wear the same traditional clothes. Every dancer holds a special hat decorated with some safflowers. Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) is a cultivated thistle-like plant. Nowadays it is grown mainly for its oil. Everybody shouts “Yassho! Makkasho!” The beat of the traditional Japanese hanagasa-daiko drums can be heard. The parade also includes beautifully decorated floats.