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Tuesday, 12th May 2009
In Events In Japan,

Hakata Gion Tamakasa Festival in Fukuoka

Visitors to the Japanese city of Fukuoka between July 1st and 15th will be able to enjoy the annual spectacle of the Hakata Gion Tamakasa Festival.

The event features men racing through the streets of the city carrying large floats complete with colourful decorations.

According to the Japan National Tourism Organisation, over one million have been known to attend the two-week festival, which has a history stretching back for centuries.

Each year, the competition, which concludes the celebrations, begins at dawn. Before the race begins, competitors and family members descend on the Kushida Jinja Shrine to pray for good luck.

Other festivals taking place include Mifune Matsuri on May 17th, during which costumed musicians and dancers sail down the Oigawa River on special boats.

On May 16th and 17th, meanwhile, the Sendai Aoba Festival sees a variety of activities to honour Lord Date Masamune, including the renowned Sparrow dance performers, reports Whatsonwhen.

Written by Graham MacPherson

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