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Ryusei (Rocket) Festival | CHICHIBU
October 14 @ 08:40 - 17:00
Chichibu Rocket Festival / Ryusei Matsuri
The Chichibu Rocket Festival is most commonly referred to by its Japanese name “Ryusei Matsuri” even in English, possibly due to the uniqueness of this 400 year old festival. Ryusei literally means dragon power.
One of the amazing things about this festival is that the farmers make the rockets themselves. They pass the tradition and skill down through the generations.
We had the very great experience of witnessing this festival last year. Grant it, it was from a distance and away from the thousands of spectators, but we had a clear view and were in earshot of the unique and spine tingling sound of the rockets being launched.
“The Ryusei Festival, known for handmade rockets launched by local farmers, is held on the second Sunday of October every year. This is Muku Shrine’s annual festival, that has been continuing since early times. The festival is famous for handmade rockets called Ryusei (lit. dragon vigor) named after their resemblance to dragons ascending to the sky. Traditionally, there are 27 styles of rockets with unique gimmicks. More than 30 rockets are launched with a roaring sound every year. Although each rocket is handmade, it goes up to 300 to 500 meters, which shows a beautiful white line drawn in the blue sky.”
From 8.40 am about 30 rockets are launched approximately every 15 minutes apart. However, between 11 am and 11.50 am the rockets are stopped for the festival ceremony.
Official page (Japanese only): http://www.ryusei.biz/
English information (quote above): http://www.sainokuni-kanko.jp/eng/festival/068.html
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