Every year on a certain date, the Japanese gather in temples and shrines to perform the Matsuri (festival). Matsuri was a Shinto practice, but ended up incorporating rites linked to the Buddhist and Chinese calendar. Matsuri occupy a place of honor in the lives of the Japanese and contribute to the spiritual formation and probably these celebrations that maintain so many Japanese traditions.
In the past, there was a festival that lasted a week or more, but currently the festivals are one day or a maximum of three days, depending on the region of the festival, Dashi (traditional float), Mikoshi (portable miniature shrine), Floating ( floats that look like a shrine).
In the past, these festivals were longer and served to worship gods, and ancestors and even to thank divine entities for the harvest of the year. Over the years these traditions have lost some of their meaning and rituals have become more simplified and more accessible.
All Matsuris have a few things in common, such as traditional food stalls, drinks and games. In addition, many matsuris end with fireworks.
- Dashi (traditional floats), are large floats that are pulled by a rope by people, going around the neighborhood during festivals. The size, shape and decoration varies by region.
- Mikoshi (miniature portable shrine), are small symbols carried around the city on the shoulders or on wheels.
- Floaters (Floats that look like a shrine), are floats pulled and pushed by people to roam the city or neighborhoods. The floats were made to invite the Gods to festivals.