Carrying the 200kg snake head, Jamaki Festival
Tawaramoto, #Nara, 2010
Festivals are always photogenic events. In Japan, each village or district usually held a festival at least once a year. Jamaki Festival occurs in June in Tawaramoto near Nara, a peaceful village surrounded by rice fields.
So what is Jamaki Festival all about ? First, the men (only the men) need to carry the head of the snake like on the above picture to bring it to a temple where they will attach it to the body made of wheat stalks. Ja 蛇stands for snake and maki 蛇き for roll. The festival consists in rolling wheat stalks to make a snake of 18m long that will be carried to the houses of the village on the same day as a belief for fertility.
Priest blessing the participants before the parade
Old man, making the snake, Nara 2010
Parading to each house of the village, Nara 2010
Men carrying the head, children carrying the body
The peak of the parade is to roll the snake around the participants until they fall.