Fukuoka Events and Festivals

(Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan)




Picture of the Fukuoka Dome (baseball stadium)The Japanese city of Fukuoka celebrates a number of festivals throughout the year, with the most famous being the Asian Month. Held every September, this event promotes relations between Fukuoka and other Asian cities.

Other notable events within the city involve prayers for a good harvest and Merit-making festivities - a Buddhism concept for good health and luck. Alternatively, why not take in a game of baseball at the Dome, where crowds of more than 50,000 often gather. The main annual festivals in Fukuoka are shown below, together with other things to do during you visit to the city.


Fukuoka National Public Holidays


  • Ganjitsu - January 1st (New Year's Day)
  • Seijin-no-hi - Second Monday in January (Coming of Age Day)
  • Kenkoku Kinem-bi - February 11th (National Foundation Day)
  • Shumbun-no-hi - March 20th or 21st (Spring Equinox)
  • Midori-no-hi - April 29th (Green Day)
  • Kempo Kinem-bi - May 3rd (Constitution Day)
  • Kokumin-no-Saijitsu - May 4th (Adjoining Holiday)
  • Kodomo-no-hi - May 5th (Children's Day)
  • Umi-no-hi - Third Monday in July (Marine Day)
  • Keiro-no-hi - Third Monday in September (Respect for the Aged Day)
  • Shubun-no-hi - September 23rd or 24th (Autumn Equinox)
  • Taiiku-no-hi - Second Monday in October (Health Sports Day)
  • Bunka-no-hi - November 3rd (Culture Day)
  • Kinro Kansha-no-hi - November 23rd (Labour Thanksgiving Day)
  • Tenno Tanjobi - December 23rd (Emperor's Birthday)

Fukuoka Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Tamaseseri - held on January 3rd every year, this is a New Year's festival which takes place to encourage a good harvest for the coming year. There is an annual ritual involving two teams of youths, who are dressed in traditional outfits. Just after midday, the teams make their way to the beach to take part in a game, which involves a scramble for a small ball
  • Hoshasai Festival - early January, dating back to the late 12th century and featuring various historic rituals around the Okitsumiya Shrine

February


  • Setsubun Festival - this is a folk festival meant to expel winter demons and welcome in spring

March


  • Fukuoka International Cross Country Race - sees participants from across Asia race against the clock and each other for the prestigious first prize
  • Hinamatsuri Doll's Festival - a traditional event where dolls are displayed citywide in order that they bring luck to young girls

April


  • No significant events and festivals in Fukuoka in the month of April

May


  • Hakata Dontaku Port Festival - sees approximately 400 groups, totalling almost 30,000 people, take part in a number of parades held on the 3rd and 4th May. Entertainment is provided for families and the entire city of Fukuoka takes to the streets to celebrate with fun, laughter, music and dancing

June


  • Father's Day - a celebration for fathers is held throughout the city. Gifts are given to all Dads and thanks are said

July


  • Hakata Gion Yamakasa - between the 1st to the 5th July, kazariyama, (decorated floats covered with beautiful dolls, are displayed throughout the city. The excitement in the city builds from the first day onwards, culminating in the climax of the festival on the 15th July. The Oiyama race sees several hundred men in traditional outfits carry floats on their shoulders and race through the streets of Fukuoka. Each float is carried by 26 men and the winners are those who can carry it around the 5-km / 3-mile course the quickest. Thousands of spectators line the streets to support the competitors
  • Fukuoka Asian Film Festival - early July, with various screenings relating to the Asian culture

August


  • Bon Festival - every August, ancestral spirits are believed to return to earth and this celebration sees living ancestors make offerings to the deceased
  • Chikugo River Fireworks Festival - early August, with state-of-the-art fireworks reflecting in the Chikugo River

September


  • Asian Month - was first organised with the intention of increasing discussion and understanding between Fukuoka and other Asian cities. A number of events are held, such as the highly popular Asian Pacific Festival. This is a chance for local people to develop long lasting friendships with foreign students, who also taking part in the festivities. Highlights of the festival include a variety of ethnic foods prepared by foreign students, exhibitions, stalls and folk performances
  • Hojoya - held between the 12th to the 18th of September, this event is a Buddhist custom in which birds and fish are released back into the sky and rivers

October


  • Nakasu Festival - lasting three days and celebrating this important district, with dancing, kimono-clad ladies and even sumo wrestling

November


  • Shichi-go-san - every year in November, children aged three, five and seven years old are taken to shrines throughout the city where they pray for good luck and health

December


  • Oshiroi Matsuri - held on December 2nd each year, this 400-year-old festival sees farmers and villagers pray for a good harvest in the coming year. A white paste made from rice flour and water, oshiroi is wiped on villagers' faces for good luck







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