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Aoi Matsuri Festival

葵祭

The Aoi Matsuri Festival, the annual festival of Shimogamo-jinja shrine and Kamigamo-jinja shrine which are registerd to UNESCO World Heritage is a historical festival said to have started 1500 years ago. Various ceremonies are held from the beginning of May and the main event is the elegant parade just like a picture scroll of the dynasty of Heian era held on May 15. More than 500 beautifully dressed people in traditional costumes with 36 horses and 4 oxen start from “Kenrei-mon” gate of Kyoto Imperial Palace, pass through Shimogamo-jinja shrine and to Kamigamo-jinja shrine for whole about 8 km long. The whole parade is decorated with hollyhock leaves which is the emblem of both Shimogamo-jinja shrine and Kamigamo-jinja shrines. Please pay special attention to the oxcart and the lady who is a substitute for “Saioh – unmarried princess in the service of God” on the float.

Aoi Matsuri Festival