Every year on the third Saturday of July, Chiran holds its own, miniature, version of the famed Nebuta Festival that takes place in Aomori City. Large washi lanterns, decorated with images of legendary warriors, are hand-wheeled up and down the town’s main shopping street, accompanied by drums, flutes and dancing. In the Chiran adaptation, the performers still wear the traditional haneto costume and chant “rassera, rassera’ to liven up the crowd, but it has a character of its own, with a smaller crowd and oozing a charm that only small towns can.
Traditionally a night-time festival, the main parade begins at sunset, but since we had been around the whole day, Mark and I got to check out a smaller parade earlier too. Students from the town showed off their own mini handmade floats and, in what I’m sure was a welcome relief from the heat, were sprayed with water as they paraded down the street.