Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yamahoko Float Construction Scene

The parade consists of 32 floats and they are connected with neighborhoods in each district, where they display their Hoko or Yama floats in their districts to perform.  

There are 23 Yama floats and 9 Hoko floats.  Yama are smaller floats, usually carried by people on their shoulders, and Hoko are massive 2-story floats, weighing from 5 to 12 tons, as high as 25 meters.  They have large wooden wheels and are pulled by 12 to 50 people.

Float assembly is progressing rapidly to complete on the 13th.  All floats are assembled by only straw rope, and no nails are used.

The float that holds lead position in the parade is "Naginata Hoko (Long Sword Float)."

Each year, the Chigo (sacred boy who rides on the leading Naginata Hoko) is selected, and he visits Yasaka Shrine and prays for safety during the festival.

And Yoiyama (eve of the Festival) is held from the 14th, and the downtown area around Shijo and Karasuma will be car-free and hundreds of food and game stalls will be lined up!

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