The spot of this festival is quite near the Tenjin Station, which is on the Fukuoka Municipal Subway Line from Hakata Station. So it won’t take too much time to get to there. And if you get there at the exact time of the year, May 3rd and March 4th, and the exact place Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, you can join the residents there, and enjoy the festival atmosphere with them. This festival has a history of eight hundred years, and is the largest festival in Japan. The Japanese people will dance in squares all together, which form a fabulous view of the festival. Let’s join them.
The middle word of the name of the festival “Dontaku” actually comes from a Dutch word Zondag which stands for “Sunday” or “holiday.” And since the year 1179, the festival has been started. At that time the Japanese people will dressed up as the good gods and pay a visit to the Lord of Fukuoka Castle. The people go to the castle in the form of parading. And this parade is named Torimon. Because this festival costs too much human resources and funds, the government of Meiji has once stopped it. And it also stopped by the World War II, but it won’t last long. After the war, people started to celebrate the war again. This is a festival for the local residence in Japan. Today it has a new name Hakata Dontaku Port Festival.
During this festival people will parade on the street in their traditional clothes. Along with the parade, there goes the clapping of the shamoji spoons, which represent the image of the women. The housewives cannot help joining the parade, and they rush out of the kitchens with the cooking-rice spoons still in their hands. The parade also has the carefully decorated vehicles named hana jidosha. Of all the festivals taken place during April to May, Hakata Dontaku attracts most of the visitors.