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Akita Kanto Festival (秋田の竿燈祭り)

Last weekend I arrived in time for the final day of the Kanto Festival (竿燈祭り). As imagined, it was a stunning sight. The lights of the lanterns glimmered ever so brilliantly in the night sky.  When gazing over at the parade on a faraway bridge, the kanto sticks appeared to be still moving. However, upon approaching the dynamic scene, I could see the tremendous efforts the young lads went through to balance the 50kg+ lanterns upright on top of their foreheads.

The festival has a long history to it, one I won't really go into too much detail for now, but during my study abroad at Akita International University, I could tell that the students and people of Akita truly appreciate and cherish this tradition. The amount of time and energy everyone goes through to prepare for this week is incredible. This night is surely one I won't forget.

If I ever finish editing the footage I took, I'll upload a YouTube video later. Enjoy the photos from the festival in the meantime! :)

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