Again, a very happy new year to everyone! We ended the New year course this week-end in the most spectacular way, with one of the big 3 fire festival, at the Daizenji of Kurume!
It was rainy, but it did certainly not dampen the atmosphere, though we felt sorry for people running in the rain with only a loincloth. However, you understand the point of the loincloth very well when the huge torches are lit!
A tradition of more than 1,500 years, the “tsuina” (exorcism ceremony) starts at around ７PM with men carrying around torches. For the less religiously inclined of us, the most impressive moment comes at around 9PM, when 6 huge torches are lit and carried around the ground of the shrine, with not a few “aaah” when the bearers lose their balance!