Warei Taisai

Warei Taisai

July 22-24
This Japanese festival is held in Uwajima in late July. Hundreds of ships dock in the harbor, all decorated with flags. In town, there is the parade of the Ushioni, a creature that looks like a combination of a whale and a dragon that is carried through the streets by 15 to 20 young people.
Another festival highlight is the Hashiri-komi ceremony, a procession of young people carrying portable shrines called mikoshi into the sea while rockets explode all around them. The Warei Tasai festival dates back to the 18th century and is the highlight of the summer festival season in Ehime Prefecture.
CONTACTS:
Japan National Tourist Organization
1 Rockefeller Pl., Ste. 1250
New York, NY 10020
212-757-5640; fax: 212-307-6754
www.japantravelinfo.com
SOURCES:
IllFestJapan-1993, p. 87