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Home » 5. Rites and Festivals » Individual Shrine Observances
Hashira matsuri
This festival is held on July 17 at Sekiyama Shrine in Myōkō Village, Naka-Kubiki County, Niigata Prefecture. On this day, after unlit "pillar torches" (hashira matsu), pine-branch torches with their lower ends buried in the ground, are positioned to the right and left of the keidai (shrine grounds), youths from the upper and lower communities come and compete to light the torches. On the next day, youths dressed as mountain ascetics (yamabushi) become official attendants and form a progress accompanying the mikoshi (portable shrine) through town.
       A fire festival (Himatsuri) is now held as an annual observance (reisai) on August 15 at Togakushi Shrine in Togakushi Village, Kami-Minochi County, Nagano Prefecture. Originally, however, it was called Hashira matsuri and held on July 7.

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