Oniyo Matsuri (Fire Festival), Kurume, Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan.
The Oniyo Festival is a Shinto ritual to expel evil spirits and
epidemics. It is one of the three largest fire festivals in Japan along
with Kurama Fire Festival in Kyoto and Nachi Fire Festival in Wakayama.
The festival has its origin in a 1600-year-old legend. It is now held
every year on January 7 at the Daizenji Tamatare-gu Shrine.
A young boy is initiated by his father as he joins his first celebration
of the Oniyo fire festival at the Daizenji Tamatare-gu Shrine. Boys join
men in the preliminary parade. Dressed in loincloths, they will carry
the small torches around the temple.