Akita Kanto Festival

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Bamboo Pole Lanterns

Bamboo Pole Lanterns

Kanto Matsuri, literally pole lantern festival, takes place in Akita every August 3-6. Hundreds of lit paper lanterns attached to bamboo poles are balanced by the performers in various ways. Performers' techniques vary from balancing the bamboo poles which can weight up to 110 lbs and measure 39 ft on their foreheads, palms, shoulders, and more. Keep in mind that at the end of the poles are dozens of lanterns lit with real candles. The event takes place day and night, as sounds of drums and flutes will the air. The night event is the highlight though for not only the obvious reasons that the lit lanterns light up the night sky creating a beautiful scene but also that groups of performers carry up to 250 kanto poles with lanterns.

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