Generally speaking, this festival is a completion among people who want to be the first to get to the top of the sacred mountain, with the bonden on their side. And u8sually the festival gets started on January 17th. And it will take place in the Taiheizan Miyoshi Jinja Shrine, Akita, in the city of Akanuma, Akita. Although the festival is held in this city, the shrine is Mt. Taiheizan shich is 1,171 meters high. And it is also the symble of the Akita city. Hence the competition become so fierce that everyone wants to be the first one on the top of the mountain. The competitors want to make offerings to the bondon. And the competition become so fierce that people start to scratching, piercing and even hitting each other. And that is the reason why sometimes people also call it “Bonden fighting.” And whenthe noon is approaching the competition become more furious.
And also the visitors are desiring to touch the charms hanging on the bonden, for people believe that those triangle charms hold the divine power in it.
The bonden is almost four meters in height, serving as a sign that descended by the god. The paper and the ice straw are the two main materials that were used in ancient period. However, recently people start to decorate the basket made of bamboo with beautiful ribbons. And any people can carry the bonden wands,which include town residents, children and even the employees from the company. People believe that the wand can carry their beat wishes, like healthy and wealthy of their life and also being successful in their career.
Interpretations of the Contest
Why people get so violence during the struggle? And the reasons can be various. But the one most people believe is the natural desire to be the first to get bless from the gods. And that is also why the festival become more popular in the New Year time. And also the patron deity of Miyoshi Jinja is a god of power. The more fiercer the competition is, the more bless they will get from the Gods.
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