I got this postcard from my postcard pal Yoshimi.The postcard is showing the Gion-Matsuri Festival in Kyoto, Japan.
The Gion Festival takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junkō, on July 17. It takes its name from Kyoto’s Gion district.
This festival originated as part of a purification ritual (goryo-e) to appease the gods thought to cause fire, floods and earthquakes. In 869, the people were suffering from plague and pestilence which was attributed to the rampaging deity Gozu Tennō. Emperor Seiwa ordered that the people pray to the god of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto. Sixty-six stylized and decorated halberds, one for each province in old Japan, were prepared and erected at Shinsen-en, a garden, along with the portable shrines (mikoshi) from Yasaka Shrine. This practice was repeated wherever an outbreak occurred. In 970, it was decreed an annual event and has since seldom been broken.