Jidai Matsuri

Japanese city of Kyoto celebrates its foundation on the 22nd of October. On the same day local Heian Shrine organizes the Jidai Matsuri (in English “Festival of Ages”). The festival and shrine itself were formed in 1895.

Jidai Matsuri includes huge parade where participants wear costumes from the period of about 1,100 years when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Participants are divided into historical periods. Each period has various themes. The parade route has about 5 kilometres.

Jidai Matsuri
Jidai Matsuri

The parade is lead by the 1800-style horse carriage with local dignitaries – the provincial governor, city mayor and the city council chairman. They followed by the soldiers, marching band and some other characters all wearing costumes from the Meiji era (1868-1912). The most participants of the festival parade wear colourful costumes from the Edo period (1603-1867). Among them is the princess on a special platform.

The very end of the parade includes elements of Shintoism. People carry two portable shrines or “mikoshi”, as they are called in Japanese. It is believed that in these shrines there are spirits of emperors Kammu (737–806) and Komei (1831-1867). Jidai Matsuri is the only time when the spirits travel out of the Heian Shrine.