Hi Watari, fire-walking festival

34 images Created 17 Mar 2012

The Hi Watari, fire-walking festival takes place on the second Sunday in March on the hillsides above Takao-san-guchi town in western Tokyo. Yamabushi (mountain priests) build a huge bonfire of cedar branches which is set alight after ceremonies to ensure its purity. Votive wooden tablets called Goma-gi are burnt in the flames bring good luck to those that wrote on them. Later, after the burning embers have been raked flat, the priests walk across the coals. Once the yamabushi have crossed the lay-priests and crowds of supporters are invited to cross also.
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