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Bonden Festival Options
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Bonden Festival

At the Bonden (or Bonten) Festival at Yokote in the Akita Prefecture of Japan, each district of the city has a team of young men to carry its bonden in a race to the Asahiokayama-jinja shrine. The bonden is a ten-foot bamboo pole, draped with heavy cloth and topped by a platform holding a figure of the Animal of the Year. Those carrying the bonden gradually increase their pace until they are running, often pushing members of competing teams to the ground to be the first to the top. The team that arrives first wins the privilege of offering its bonden to the kami, or god. More...
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 4:51:53 AM

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Have you ever seen a “bonden” before?

It is a 10-foot tall bamboo figure often relating to the animal of the year. It is considered to be a sacred wand which marks the descending of the gods into the human world. You can see a lot of this during the Bonden Festival in Akita Prefecture which is usually held on January 17.

The main purpose of the festival is to offer a prayer for good harvests, good health, and good business! In the past, bonden was made of paper or rice straw. Nowadays, they are made intricately by decorating bamboo baskets in different colors. Each bonden wand is entrusted with a prayer and mainly carried around by local children, adults and some company employees also participate.
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