The famous Japanese Gion festival originally takes place in Kyoto (annually) and it is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It goes for the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade called Yamaboko Junkō on July 17. By the way the festival was named after Kyoto’s Gion district.
But to fly to Kyoto from Münich, (Germany) would have been very expensive for me not to mention that, that the Gion matsuri is also organized once a year here in Münich in the English garden. A nice stroll around to see ikebana, tea-ceremony, martial arts, comics, Japanese puppet theater and so on that was what I did. But what I really enjoyed taking pictures of young people who wore funny dresses with the best haircuts and extravagant make-up ever. And of course don’t forget the fantastic food! Our lunch consisted of Takoyaki, Yakitori and Taiyaki. Everything was really delicious and made me would like to go back to Japan! After we finished eating we walked around the festival, admired the Japanese Pavillion and of course took some more pictures.
The Gion festival originated as part of a purification ritual to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes. In 869, the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō. Emperor Seiwa ordered that the people pray to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each province in old Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with the portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine. Kyoto’s downtown celebrates during three days and nights this festival leading up to the massive parade.