Lantern festival lights up Akita
NHK -- Aug 05
One of the largest summer festivals in northeastern Japan has started in Akita City, featuring bamboo poles decorated with dozens of lanterns.

The annual Kanto festival is held to pray for rich harvests, with bamboo poles and lanterns representing ears of rice.

Pole bearers took to the streets in the city center on Friday evening.

279 lantern-decorated poles lit up the night sky to the sounds of traditional festive music.

The largest pole is 12 meters long. It is hung with 46 lanterns.

Performers showed off balancing acts, holding the poles on their foreheads and lower backs.

A woman attending a university in Tokyo said it was fun to see the pole carriers' skills, and she found Akita very attractive.

About 1.3 million people are expected to attend the festival through Monday.

News source: NHK
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