Japan to recommend festivals for UNESCO list
NHK -- Mar 03
Japan's government is to recommend that UNESCO put 10 of the country's traditional community festivals on its list of intangible cultural heritage.

The government plans to make the recommendation to the UN agency this month, saying that the festivals help bring communities together.

The festivals are held in different parts of Japan, but all feature people wearing masks and costumes of folklore gods, and paying surprise visits to their neighbors as part of seasonal celebrations.

One of the best known of the events is the Namahage Festival in the Oga district of Akita Prefecture, in which young men dressed as demons pay frightening visits to children at night.

Another festival, in Kagoshima Prefecture, has already been registered as an important national intangible asset.

Japan's bid last year to put the festivals on the list was set aside by UNESCO, as the number of applications from countries exceeded the limit of 50.

News source: NHK
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