|Huge Fox Lanterns made by an Elementary school in the district|
Tsugawa, Niigata, Japan
May 3, 2012
On the evening of May 3 (a Golden Week Holiday) we went to Tsugawa, Niigata to see a festival called, Kitsune-no-yomeiri. ("Kitsune"= fox; "no" = of ; "yomeiri" = "bridal ceremony"...kind of, we think)
As has been with all of our adventures recently it was pouring with rain but thankfully, things went on.
In the old days a bride marched to the groom's house to be married. Throughout Japan there are many folklores about "fox-fire" in the mountains and woods surrounding small towns and villages. Actually its not a real fire; It was believed that this light is caused by a parade of foxes carrying lanterns as they guide a "fox-bride" on her way to the "fox-groom's" house. In this district in the old days there used to be a lot of foxes at Kirin-zan and this festival celebrates the local fox bride's journey to the river to meet her groom.
Thank you to my wife for her patience in explaining to me about what she understands about the event. It would differ depending on location.
Actually the stars of the show are carefully selected and are real subjects for marriage. On this particular evening, it was the groom who is a real home town boy. -So we heard!