Hiburi Kamakura (Fire and Snow Festival)
One of Kakunodate's trademark festivals, held every year at the lunar New Year on February 13 and 14.
Fires lit inside huts made of snow are used to set bales of straw alight. Participants whirl the burning bales on ropes about 1.5 meters long about themselves, purifying themselves as they pray for good health and safe homes in this traditional rite. The flickering scene of scarlet rings of fire hovering over the pale snowscape and the 10-meter tall pillar of rice straw and banners seems to call forth the sense of another world…
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