Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Sansha Taisai (Festival of the 3 Shrines)

First, we must set the stage. There is a woman, Carolyn, who used to set up tours for all the new officers wives. She doesn't do it anymore, but she threw MB a bone last week and asked if we wanted to join her attending the festival. Surprisingly enough, Mike decided to join us for the chaos. On the way we stopped to pick up a Japanese friend of Carolyn's.

We arrive early enough to set up a blue tarp. The rules are if you set up your tarp and tape your stuff down, then it is yours and no one else can take your spot. So we leave and go have dinner. It was safe enough. We had spaghetti.

Please note the photo of the strange man, word on the street was that he was drunk. We finally were able to shoo him away after much effort. There were tons and tons of people. Most were sitting on the curb or standing in their assigned spots. I had to get a shot of the street with no one on it because that was probably the only time that there were no people on the street. Every time a float came along, all of these people were suddenly desperate to get by.

We passed a young Japanese man wearing a lovely pink shirt that said G.R.I.T.S. - Girls Raised in the South. Hmmm. Do you think he knew what the shirt said?

There were the usual number of girls dressed like hussies. Always fun.

At any rate there are these huge floats. It's hard to describe, but they expand out, and then shut back up. There were very long ropes with lots of children pulling very long ropes. Please take note of the very small child working with all of his might to pull the very large float as the grown up has perhaps two fingers on the rope.

On the front of each float was a guy beating a big drum and then a row of kids beating smaller drums. Once it started getting dark, then the floats really stood
out in relief. Because they had spotlights in strategic locations. I shall end with the lovely horse and bambi combo. There were men that walked along side the float and when the leader of each float gave the directions, then they would spread the float open to oohs and aahs and then close it back up again. See the Vaughn website for even more fun festival photos.

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