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2015.05.15葵祭 – The Aoi Festival

5月15日は京都三大祭りの一つ、葵祭でした。

葵祭は京都三大祭のひとつで、日本各地で開催されるお祭のうち最も優雅で古趣に富んだ祭として知られています。
祭りの行列は平安貴族そのままの姿で列をつくり、京都御所を出発、総勢500名以上、馬36頭、牛4頭、牛車2基、輿1台の風雅な行列が下鴨神社を経て、上賀茂神社へ向かいます。
祭りといえど、行列に音楽やダンスがないので、隣で観覧していた外国人観光客は驚きの表情を隠せない様子でした。
好天ではあるものの、下鴨神社を出発する午後には30度という気温で、この日の主役の斎王代さんも暑さに少しお疲れの表情だったような気がします。

Aoi Matsuri is one of the three big festivals in Kyoto and it is held today, May 15th.
(The other two are “Gion Matsuri” in July and “Jidai Matsuri” in October
The festival is believed to have originated more than 1,400 years ago during the reign of Emperor Kinmei to pray for bountiful harvests.

It’s a very popular festival that includes a procession of about 500 people clad in the elegant and ornate dress of the ancient imperial court and gorgeous carriages pulled by oxen.
The festival consists of a private imperial service, a Shinto ritual, and a parade from the Imperial Palace in Kyoto to Kamigamo Shrine.
When people talk about the Aoi Festival, they usually mean the parade and the courtly music and dances that are performed along the way.
However, this parade is no sounds and dance, it’s performed with stateliness.

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