Jidai Matsuri

Jidai Matsuri

I was lucky enough to catch one of the top three festivals in all of Kyoto, the Heian Shrine’s Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages). Held on October 22nd at noon each year, the festival is primarily composed of a two kilometer, five hour long procession of countless volunteers dressed in historical garb representing Japanese cultural history from the Meiji era all the way back to the Enryaku era in the 780’s.

Everything is painstakingly recreated and researched, going so far as to even make and dye the fabric using the same techniques as they used a thousand years ago. The procession is more like watching a living history museum march by. Not only do famous historical figures and princesses make appearance, but warriors, priests, politicians, merchants, and commoners are all represented.

I wonder how cool this would be if other cultures did a kind of living parade of their heritages as well.

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