Nebuta Matsuri

Nebuta (in Japanese drowsiness) Matsuri (in Japanese festival) is held between the 2nd and 7th of August in the Japanese city of Aomori located in the Tōhoku region (far north of the Honshu island). It is believed that the main purpose of the festival is to wake up sleepy souls and make them ready for the upcoming autumn harvest. The main attraction of this festival is a parade of very big lanterns in the shape of samurai warriors. These lanterns are made of wood or bamboo covered with papier-mâché (in French "chewed paper").

Big lantern in the shape of samurai warrior
Big lantern in the shape of samurai warrior

Some lanterns are carried by individuals, but there are those huge ones that are placed on floats which are pulled by groups of up to 50 people. Each float is surrounded by a group of male or female dancers called “haneto”. Together with the sound of flutes and drums chants “"Rasse-rah, rasse-rah” are heard.
The parade usually includes some 20 floats. It is organized on 2.5 kilometres long track.