Chichibu Night Festival

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秩父夜祭
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As one of Japan’s ‘big three’ float festivals (along with Kyoto’s Gion Festival and the Hida Takayama Festival), this festival has been Chichibu’s main event in December for over 300 years. The festival’s showcase attractions are two elaborately carved floats resplendent with lanterns, which are pulled along and then hoisted up by men in mawashi loincloths. The climax of the festival is the incredibly popular fireworks display, which is particularly beautiful in the clear winter air. It falls on a weekend this year, so prepare for even more suffocating crowds than usual.

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