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Chichibu City , Saitama Related category:
Tengo Matsuri in Shiroku    



Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 44 minutes
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In Arakawa Shiroku Hara area, located in the southern part of the Chichibu Basin, local children have conducted "Tengo Matsuri (Tengo Festival)" every fall by themselves. It used to be held in many other areas, but the recent falling birthrate has led to its dying out. In Shiroku Hara area, a preservation society was organized to inherit this event and adults started to join and support it. Although the origin of the expression "tengo" is not clear, some say that it's a variation of the word "Tingou," which is a god worshiped for ages in this area as the "mountain god" or "god of fire prevention."
The preparation begins about 1 month before the festival. Wood is hewed out in order to build an 8-meter tall triangular pyramid called "Great Tingou" and the square "Tingou Hut" of about 10 square meters next to it. Children use them as their base, go around houses, and collect "the candle fee (offering)," which they spend on buying sweets. In the evening, they yell out, "SEINO!" and "We'll give you sweets!" distributing the sweets to the people who gather around them. They set fire on the huts, the huts burn up to the sky, and the festival is over.

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