Wednesday, October 22, 2008

day 295 Aboshi Lantern Festival


When we first heard that Aboshi hosted an annual Lantern Festival, this was the serene scene we envisaged. Or perhaps tea-lights floating on a tranquil lake.
But that doesn't happen.

It begins with a quiet communal song gradually rising in volume and pace.

At some particular point in the song everyone runs together and the bamboo-and-paper lanterns collide

until they are totally destroyed...

Then the participants smash the bamboo poles until they too are destroyed and the men are exhausted. It's all good clean violent fun! When it all gets a little too frenetic a 'referee' blows a whistle and the 'play' is suspended. Amazingly, with all the flying lanterns and shards of bamboo, we didn't see any injuries.

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