Kyoto has a festal annual festival called Jidai Matsuri or festival of the Ages. Jidai Matsuri started in 1895 when people in Japan commemorated the establishment of Heian Jingu shrine in Kyoto. People celebrate the festival on October 22 by parading from Kyoto Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu shrine while lifting a small imitation of shrine called Mikoshi. The small imitation of shrine is meant as the representation of the former emperors.
Jidai Matsuri 2013
When is Jidai Matsuri 2013? It falls on Tuesday, 22 October 2013.
Jidai Matsuri 2014
When is Jidai Matsuri 2014? It falls on Wednesday, 22 October 2014.
Jidai Matsuri 2013 Celebrations
People in Kyoto starts Jidai Matsuri festival early in the morning when they lift mikoshi from the Kyoto Imperial palace. Then, about 2 thousands people dressed in samurai, emperors, or shoguns from Meiji era join the convoy and bring the mikoshi around Kyoto to the Heian Jingu shrine for about 3 hours. It is quite a long time considering that the distance between the palace to shrine is only about 4.5 kilometers. Real horses are also utilized in this festival, but they aren’t supposed to run while carrying people. The horses are used only as the properties to make the parade from the era of Meiji becomes more real. This convoy is opened by both governor and major of the place, and it is closed by a kind of ritual in the shrine.
History of Jidai Matsuri
As mentioned before, the festival began when people in Kyoto commemorated the construction of Heian Jingu shrine, one holy shrine in Kyoto. The shrine itself was built to celebrate the 1,100 anniversary of Kyoto, as the capital city of Japan at that time. Over time, people wish to have a more glorious festival which requires the participants to wear traditional costumes from the Meiji era or the previous one. In fact, Jidai Matsuri doesn’t begin and end in only one day – October 22 – but it begins one week before October 22 when people distribute the characters which should be played during the festival.
Hundreds tourists come to Kyoto on the moment of Jidai Matsuri in order to witness the atmosphere of Meiji era happening on the present. This festival also becomes a good historical study for the youths in Kyoto. Remembering the history makes people in Japan doing better in the future.